Boxing Clever is the title of two articles in September’s edition of Modern Railways magazine. They detail the works being done to upgrade the major freight lines of Felixstowe to Nuneaton and Southampton to Birmingham, so that they can take the larger 9 ft 6 in high containers (boxes) from the ports to and from industrial centres. In times of austerity and climate change, it is interesting to see how these projects which will cut out hundreds of thousands of lorry journeys are being carried out and managed using some very innovative solutions. So much so,m that it appears that the second project might be £10m under its £70.7m budget.
It is an example of very good project management and shows how by spending money wisely to remove freight bottle-necks is to the good of us all. You could argue for instance that Felixstowe to Nuneaton enhancement might be the equivalent of adding extra capacity to the A14, which is a road, that really can’t be widened too easily, as the Orwell bridge was only built for two lanes each way.
I particularly liked the way that the 1847 Southampton Tunnel was made larger. Rather than use the traditional approach and closing the tunnel for two to three months, as they did when they upgraded Ipswich Tunnel, they did it a track at a time closing for only three weekends and over Christmas 2009, saving a year on the project.
It is my belief that we can save a lot of money on infrastructure projects, like roads, railways, hospitals ands schools by thinking things through with a great deal more innovation, enterprise and by borrowing good and proven ideas and methods from other countries and industries.
When I left hospital three months ago, I wasn’t in much pain. I suppose I’m not really now, but I do have an itchy scalp, pain in the left side of my face, in my left wrist and in my humerus, which was broken when I was about fourteen. Reading a piece on the National Stroke Association’s website, this pain may be caused by the brain misreading the sensations sent through the nerves and not nerve damage. It also says that conventional medicines aren’t very good at countering the pain.
The paper also says that you could end up misusing drugs. It’s a bit difficult when you don’t take them. But despite the advice I did take an aspirin.
I don’t know about it, but it is something that I must discuss with my doctor.
I think it might have been in the 1940s or 1950s, when a photographer claimed he took a famous picture of a flying saucer. It was saucer-shaped and you could see the so-called engines underneath.
The story ran and ran and the US government was accused of hiding the truth. The photographer kept the story going and only when he died did the truth come out. He said that the picture was of a lamp in I think a Chicago bar. The engines were in fact light bulbs.
Reporters went to the bar and found that the lamp was still there.
So this one wasn’t really a conspiracy theory, but a hoax of the highest order.
Always check your evidence and never believe the eyes and ears of a biased individual.
You may not believe what I have said, but I can understand that as I canh’t find any reference to the story on the INternet.
The BBC is reporting this morning that DEMOS, a respected and influencial think-tank has said that goverment policy on terrorism is actually fuelling mistrust of the authorites. The BBC says this.
Secrecy surrounding counter-terrorism operations is fuelling mistrust of authorities, a study by independent think tank Demos suggests.
It urges the government and secret services to be more open to stop extremist groups using conspiracy theories to discredit them.
A Demos spokesman said: “Less-secret services could make Britain safer.”
The study calls for greater communication with trusted community leaders and individuals.
The report – entitled the Power of Unreason – says groups use conspiracy theories to recruit and radicalise people to commit acts of violence.
An example of one such theory is that the bombings in New York and London, on 11 September 2001 and 7 July 2005 respectively, were “inside jobs” carried out by authorities in the US and UK.
Other theories highlighted were that “freemasons control the world economy through manipulation of paper currency”, that the UK government is “consciously seeking to destroy Islam” and that a “conspiracy between the Japanese government, the US, and the Jews existed to gain world domination”.
The study claims such theories are frequently adopted by extremist groups to demonise outsiders, discredit moderates and push them in a more extreme and sometimes violent direction.
As an example, over the last few years we’ve all heard many conspiracy theories about 9/11 from people who believed it was a plot by the US and ISrael against Islam.
But then use of these types of theories are nothing new. You only have to read histories of the Nazis to realise the untruths they pedalled against Jews, homsectuals and anybody else they thought inferior.
We should be more open as DEMOS says and fight these theories with the only weapon we have! The truth!
One of the links on the BBC report is to this page on their web site about a conspiuracy theory about the London bombings. What a load of old twaddle, this guy is saying. The trouble is it’s dangerous old twaddle and the BBC was absolutely right in exposing the twat behind it.
In some ways I am pleased that scientists at mine and C’s old university, Liverpool, have led a team that has decoded the wheat genome.
I could make a sarcastic comment about what good is that to me as a coeliac, but it should help to ease the problems of feeding the world. Something that is needed even more given the problems in Russia and Pakistan, which may well be repeated elsewhere. Although new varieties will come too late for the current crisis.
I do suspect though, that science that works for wheat will also work for rice, maize and the other staple cereals. This is actually confirmed in the BBC Report, which says they are less complex and have already been done.
Today is not really the problem, as there is plenty of good sport on television, with the Grand Prix and some football. But it is tomorrow!
I thought that I might like to go to the cinema in Haverhill, as it would be possible with a taxi both ways.
But having seen the list of awful American films they are showing, that is a complete no-no. Most seem to be in 3-D, which is totally appropriate for someone with bad eyesight. I should also say that this relives some really bad Bank Holidays in the past, where C and I would vargue because there was nothing to do. Often we’d go shopping in London or Bluewater, or perhaps go and have a meal. But I can”t do that as I’ve got no transport and must stay here in my beautiful and lonely prison.
I could go to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, as I haven’t been for many years.
I can’t even do some of my new found love and time filler; cooking. I’m miles from the nearest shop and that would again mean a taxi both ways, just to get the things I need.
So I’ll just stay here and rant at all the people , who’ve said they’ll visit me and never have!
But at least there’s Tuesday to look forward to!
When I had my first stroke in March, I called NHS Direct, as I woke up and couldn’t speak very well. After answering lots of questions and phoning me back a coiuple of hours later, they felt I needed a visit from an out-of-hours doctor. They called him and he arrived an hour later. He advised me to go to hospital, as he felt I had had a small stroke. I was then driven to Addenbrookes and they confirmed the diagnosis and said that I should go to A & E if it happened again.
NHS Direct actually delayed me doing, what I felt I should have done in the first place by their bureaucratic procedures and delays. Let’s hope that the proposed 111 service would either upgrade my call to 999, send a doctor immediately or tell me to go straight to A & E.
It would appear that the Royal College of Nursing is against replacing NHS Direct. Are they just protecting jobs or thinking what is best for the patients?
But whether we have NHS Direct bor 111, does it affect the real problem in the Emergency Service of those that turn up in A & E, with things that need a visit to their GP or a pharmacist in the morning.
This will be my next match following Ipswich Town.
It might also need a bit of planning to get round the various ticketing regulations on the trains.
The easiest way would be to turn up at Whittlesford and buy a return ticket for Fratton, which is the nearest station to the ground. But this might be a problem as the ticket office there was unmanned yesterday and the automatic machine had been positioned so that the morning sunlight made it difficult to read.
These people were certainly having problems, so buying a ticket or collecting it from there might be a problem. I suppose I could get my ticket posted to my home.
So I think that I might take the train from Dullingham and go via Cambridge and King’s Cross, as I can buy a ticket from the conductor on the train. King’s Cross to Waterloo is also easier on the Underground than Tottenham Hale to Waterloo.
But the problem is that I can’t get a taxi at Dullingham, but I can pre-book one at Whittlesford.
But there is an additional complication. I want to have lunch with a friend at Micheldever, which is on the line to Fratton. So my journrey will actually be in three legs; Whittlesford to Micheldever, Micheldever to Fratton and Fratton to Whittlesford. It used to be that if you broke a journey and then continued on a later train in the same direction, that you could do this on the same ticket. I suspect this is now off the menu.
What is needed is a simple multiple ticket web site, where I enter the trains I want to travel on and then they post them to my house or I pick them up reliably at the first station.
I suspect that because of regulations though, I’ll need to buy a Whittlesford-Fratton return and buy an extra single ticket to get from Micheldever to Fratton.
And people think I’m getting paranoid!
Since I wrote that, I’ve found another problem. Not all trains to Fratton start from Waterloo and those of those that do not all go through Michedever, but the booking sites don’t seem to say which. It’s all very complicated. The Internet is supposed to make things simple not more difficult. Perhaps it would be easier to turn up and go at Waterloo and buy the tickets there. But that would mean I would have to leave earlier in the morning!
Pakistani cricketers are once again in the brown stuff. This time, it’s about spot betting on whether a delivery is a no-ball or not. But the Pakistani cricket team has been involved in all sorts of scandals over the past few years. So you’d think that with all the problems in the country, that the cricketers would be playing to try to give some sort of lift to their unfortunate compatriots.
If the allegations are proven to be true, then those involved should be banned for life from ever playing cricket again!
The real curse is this spot betting. Imagine yesterday at Portman Road and you could bet on Grant Leadbitter hitting the bar from a free kick. (Actually, what he did deserved a goal!) But bookmakers in some places will take such a bet. Certainly no reputable or licensed one would.
As an aside to this Oxfam have just said that billions of pounds will have to be spent to reconstruct Pakistan and it must start now! Can we trust the country to spend the money wisely and not let it end up in the hands of crooks?
Even if we can, these cricketers have sowed the seeds of doubt in many peoples’ minds.
There is an old phrase about pride before a fall, so can Ipswich be proud that they are third in the nPower Championship, bearing in mind that they have to play the two teams above them; QPR and Cardiff City in their next two home games after Portsmouth away.
So we can all enjoy the league position, whilst we sit out the next few days of the International break.