Sunday, January 31

A great and historic British invention is about to be destroyed

Some time ago I visited the Hovercraft museum at Lee On Solent:

BBC has reported that the two iconic cross-channel SRN4 Mountbatten class hovercraft kept at the museum are to be destroyed.

So why is it that these locally (Cowes, Isle of Wight) built machines that are one of a kind are being destroyed? This is a British invention and nothing like the SRN4 has been built anywhere else in the world, yet politicians, councillors and nutters can only complain about immigrants and the EU!

No immigrant or the EU can be blamed for this appalling disrespect for British invention, creativity and intellectual knowledge. How many of the political moaners and nutters have bothered to visit the museum or offered financial support?

Latest news is that the government own the site and hovercraft:


Saturday, January 30

We should stay in the EU

Thought I would post my opinion regarding the EU.

My perspective is one of seeking facts, rather than one based on political ideology.

My personal experience has been that EU law was beneficial to the companies I have worked for. My first job was as a design engineer for a global electronic equipment design, development and manufacturing company. I use those three terms, because I think the single term 'manufacturing' doesn't express reality. Before you can make anything you need educated people to design and develop it.

The company in question indeed had market share outside the EU, but that wasn't where it's main competition was. Also the global market was for lower grade equipment whilst the EU was a market for higher grade and hence higher value equipment along with higher volumes of such equipment.

So what was it like within Europe before the EU, dealing with individual national laws and regulations?

The company spent a lot of money and time developing special versions of their product to satisfy an individual European nations rules and regulations. Germany in particular regularly changed the goal posts and made sure their own industry were well informed of any change a long time before the British company I worked for. The end result was that although our technology was superior (yes it really was better than the German equivalent), the German company always got a bigger market share within their native country. There were armies of civil servants across Europe checking that imported equipment satisfied the nations regulations, this of course was very expensive for the individual nations.

What was it like after EU law and regulation?

The change had a MASSIVE positive impact, it really can not be underestimated.
The British company designed and developed products in which a single version could be sold all over Europe. There was less bureaucracy to deal with in each nation. The company was so successful that it bought that German competitor. It also took over a number of other EU companies. Company costs were reduced.

The fact is we shouldn't be having a referendum. If we come out we will have just as many 'problems' as we allegedly have staying in. Plus of course if we have a referendum now, we will have to have another one in 5 or 10 years time because we will want to be back in.

I was listening to an individual calling into a radio talk show about the referendum, the caller said they were fed up with EU laws. The presenter then asked for a specific example of a EU law.
After a lot of thinking, the caller could only come up with one alleged law.
Apparently the EU insists all our cucumbers are straight!

What are the facts?

The mythical bent banana rule never banned bent bananas. The EU rules graded bananas into classes, any banning was done by supermarkets who refused to sell lower class fruit and veg. The fact is that if we were outside the EU, the big corporate supermarkets would still be banning mis-shaped fruit, plus there have been many TV campaigns and programmes that clearly show that it is these corporate companies (Supermarkets being in the news recently about rejecting food and failing to pay their suppliers) that ban food not the EU.
Finally the EU regulation that graded bananas was replaced in 2012.

Friday, January 29

Some cyclists abuse the Eclipse priority bus lane

I'll start this blog post by saying I am a big supporter of cycling. The only personal transport vehicle I own is a bicycle, if I don't use that, then it's walking, bus or train.

Sadly some selfish cyclists abuse the facilities that are provided for public use and this is the case I witnessed recently on the Eclipse bus route.

I posted about this service before:

There are some cyclists that are using the long straight section of the Eclipse route as a cycle race/training track. I witnessed two cyclists on racing bikes and (yes you guessed it) lycra basically racing up and down the stretch of special road at least 3 times whilst I was waiting for a bus.
I witnessed them reaching the end of the road (Hutfield Link) and turning around to head back towards Fareham for another circuit.

On top of that they broke the highway code by overtaking the bus parked at the bus stop and forced an oncoming bus to slow to a stop, something the highway code specifically warns against because it is dangerous. The bus driver in the oncoming bus threw his arms up in the air in despair.

Imagine if two car drivers decided to use a stretch of road to charge up and down in preparation for a motor race?

The fact is it would be an illegal use of the road and the police would at least give both the drivers fines. Isn't this cyclist behaviour just as bad?

There are a lot of cyclists that use the Eclipse route to transport them to work and shops, they use it for the purpose it was designed for. Cyclists that want to race on a track (because that is what these cyclists were using the road for, they didn't have a destination) should find a dedicated track just like motor racing enthusiasts do.

I don't think it would be unreasonable to ban this type of use on this special road. There are already restrictions on vehicle types, it wouldn't be unfair to ban these fanatics and make sure other cyclists that use the road are protected.

Wednesday, January 20

10 Cloverfield Lane movie trailer - my two pence worth

OK the trailer for this future movie release has caused some buzz, so here is my opinion:

It takes place at the same time as the original Cloverfield film.

It is a different POV of the same events. The 3 in the nuclear bomb shelter bought the shelter just in case humanity decided to destroy themselves, they watch the news about the monster or see it and immediately go down below to wait out the mayhem above to finish.

Well, we will have to see when it is released or someone spills the beans.

20/03/16 - Well I haven't seen this film yet, but it looks like my guess was wrong. Seems like the only thing common between this and the original is the use of the name 'Cloverfield'.

Saturday, January 16

New bamboo desk

Replaced an old computer desk this weekend which was no longer used for a computer but used as a general 'workbench'. The keyboard and printer shelves were basically redundant and made it very difficult to clean underneath with a vacuum cleaner (the castors were also broken).

So decided to buy a new traditional desk and work station. Really liked a unit at John Lewis which looked like it was made from wood, but in reality it was made of particle board and veneer finish. Plus it cost nearly £200!

£200 for a sub-standard desk??

Anyway had a look at what IKEA were offering and noticed a new desk that had a tubular steel frame/legs and a bamboo top. Perfect!
It is brilliant, light to. One person can pick it up, so no castors needed. The bamboo is the standard 'ply' engineered stuff  which is very strong. The desk top is about 2.5 inches thick and has 3 little draws in the front that are useful for storing pencils, rulers, paper etc

The desk is also very sturdy despite the steel frame looking a bit flimsy in the photo. You could also use it as a table. The rear has a good finish, so it doesn't have to be placed against a wall.

Bamboo is definitely the 'miracle' natural material of the decade, fast growing, very robust for furniture making but also silky smooth when used to make clothing and textiles (Rapanui clothing).

Removing litter at bus stops

Apparently Havant Borough Council does pickup up litter around bus stops.

But wouldn't it be more efficient to install bins which can be quickly emptied and would reduce the amount of litter in the bushes and grass.

This guy was picking litter for as long as I was waiting for a bus (about 5 minutes). He was there when I arrived and was still picking litter when the bus was leaving.