Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Blog at the end of the year.

And so yet another year comes to end the sun had completed one more circuit around the sun, which itself is a little older and a little closer to becoming a Red Giant and eating its children, if of course the big rip has got just that bit closer.
These titanic events which will affect vast swaths of space are nothing compared to the rather predictable life events of some Zlebs from Holly Oaks, which occupy the pages of Magazines I believe are called things like OK! and Hello? But it is the squalid faux minutia of these peoples lives that obsesses the majority of the population. While this may seem are rather sad fact, it is actually a reassuring proof of the theory of evolution.
A species created by some all powerful being would not be obsessed with the goings on of her at number 13 or the fat of some fictional relation of another fictional character in a fictional borough, in a city so far away as to be potentially fictional its self. Only a creature who presences is the result of its ancestors' ability to get sex would, in this, the early stages of self awareness, spend large chunks of its time engaged in process to satiate drives that are now unchecked by the daily necessities of getting food and shelter.
The same can be said of obesity, in the past we ate when we could and spent a lot of the energy we had obtained getting the next meal, now food is dangled in front of us from all corners, so we satiate our appetites and get fat and ill. This is an age in which the rules that separate winners from looser in Survival of the fitests or sexual selection. Are no longer enforced on a daily basis, that isn't to say that in some forthcoming crises they will not be reinstated with brutal effect, but short of an asteroid or super volcano, the imposition will be a while away.
The first fruit of our escape from daily grind where arts and religion, with which we tried to control the world or at least figure out what was happening next, we worshipped the sun because we could not guarantee it would come up again, but eventually we'd spent enough time sitting on our backsides to work out that the sun would always come up, but we had already created religion and it moved on to trying to explain why we are here, which conveniently led to some people securing power of the others. There was still enough arse time around for us to develop agriculture, better weapons, Science philosophy etc.
But somewhere along the way religion had robbed a large portion of the population of the ability to see a world that was without intent and while it could no longer blame the earthquake on an angry god, who would only be happy when the people did what the religious leaders said. This portion of the population had to find new malevolent mega minds to replace the old gods.
Various groups claim to have found this fount of evil in the Illumanti, the New World Order, Bilderberg or Skull and Bones. They are just those suffering from a new strain of the religious disease that had dogged man for millennia. The most obvious and perpetual trait of humanity is to screw things up, any group formed to do this would fracture into a thousand pieces within a week, clique would fight clique.
The progress of humanity is not governed by people but by the Brownian motion of facments of a billion ideas circulating in the fragments of a billion minds. Like the arrow of time it an emergent process that can only be glimpsed. When you walk down the street whistling to yourself you a particle in the Brownian soup, which hit a particle and might deflect it and be part of a bigger movement. There is no indication that there is a fixed direction the process works just as well going up as it does down. If we want to continue upward to greater understand and longer survival for our claid, the valve that might provide that is the leaky one of mind, if we can do no more than stop whistling at the right time it might be enough to skew the process in the direction we would like society to go. It will be trying to move a supertanker by pushing with a feather but in the end it should succeed.
I'm off to bounce some particles.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Searching in the dust bin.

I often get annoyed about the amount of perfectly good data which is thrown away. It is like a lot of things in life you only realize the value when you can no longer get to it. I remembered reading a story a few years ago about how some  evidence of very strange matter was found in the most unusual place. I've dug up a reference and found a link to other data. Is this what Dark Matter is?

from Strange Quark Matter and Compact Stars

3.5 Unusual Seismographic Events
As already described in section 3.4, De R´ujula and Glashow speculated about the presence of lumps of stable strange matter, also referred to as strange nuggets or nuclearites, in the cosmic radiation [131].
The seismic signals caused by these nuclearites passing through the Earth would be very different from the seismic signals caused by an earthquake or a nuclear explosion [89, 131]. This follows from the rate of seismic energy produced by strange nuggets given by dE/dt = fσρv3, where σ is the nugget cross section, ρ the nominal Earth density, v the nugget speed, and f the fraction of nugget energy loss that results in seismic waves rather than other dissipation such as heat or breaking rock [90]. Underground nuclear explosions have f ≃ 0.01, chemical explosions f ≃ 0.02. In contrast to this, strange nuggets with a mass of several tons (size of 10−3 cm) passing through the Earth would imply that f ≃ 0.05.
Anderson et al. [90] looked at more than a million records collected by the US Geological Survey between 1990 and 1993 that were not associated with traditional seismic disturbances such as earthquakes. The seismic signature would be caused by the large ratio of the nuclearites speed, estimated to be around 400 km/s. Strange nuggets might thus pass through the Earth at 40 times the speed of seismic waves.
Most interestingly, Anderson et al. were able to single out two seismic events exhibiting this behavior.
One event occurred on 22 October 1993, the other event occurred on 24 November 1993. In the first case, an unknown object seems to have entered the Earth off Antarctica and left it south of India. It was recorded at seven monitoring stations in India, Australia, Bolivia and Turkey. In the second case, an object seems to have entered in the South Pacific, south of Australia, and left the Earth 16.8 seconds later in the Ross Ice Shelf near the South Pole. This event was recorded at nine monitoring stations in Australia and Bolivia. The chord length between the entry and exit points of the 24 November 1993 event is 4204 km so that the duration measured for this event, if caused by the passage of an object through the Earth, would imply a velocity for the hypothetical object of 250 km/s. The interpretation of the data as being caused by strange nuggets penetrating the Earth is backed by a Monte Carlo study that was used to identify the extent to which nuclearites could be detected by seismographic stations[90, 164]. The study showed that one would expect to detect as many as 25 4-ton nuclearite events per year if 4 ton strange nugget were to saturate the halo dark matter density. If 10% of the dark matter density were distributed in strange nuggets over the mass range from 0.25 to 100 tons one would expect about an event per year. Detection of a nuclearite would require at least six station sites to fix its impact time, location and velocity, and seismic detection of signals by at least seven stations is required in order to separate strange nuggets events from random spurious coincidences.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

HS2 phase 2 and Liverpool

1 Purpose
1.1 Economy
1.1.1 The entire history of Liverpool has been driven by transport. In its original form, it provided access to the Irish Sea and the sea routes that formed the backbone of mediaeval society, with access inland along the river.
1.1.2 The power that the sea gave Liverpool meant that it was one of the important nodes in the creation of both the canal system and the railway system.
1.1.3 With the decline of the United Kingdoms Maritime power and the failure of the port of Liverpool to adapt to the changing modes of transport Liverpool is no longer seen as one of the places that must be at the heart of the UK communication system. This has led to the lack of provision in the plans for HS2.
1.1.4 It would be worth looking at the plans again to see if Liverpool can be placed directly on the system but also try to make sure that we gain the maximum benefit from reduced journey time and bring forward as many benefits to as early in the programme as possible. Whilst freeing up as much capacity as possible on the network for other traffic.
2 HS2
2.1 London
2.1.1 The most widely trumpeted benefit that is the selling point of HS2 is the reduced journey time to London. While it is true that this limit proposal will provide some benefit, it falls far short of a full connection. The benefits of a full connection are in addition to a further reduced journey time direct access to the European continental railway system, without changing trains at London.
2.1.2 The barrier that would stop access is that the classic compatible trains will not be of the minimum length to use the tunnel. There may be several reasons for this the most obvious is the lack of any platforms at Liverpool to handle such long trains.
2.2 Direct Access
2.2.1 For the shortest journey time a spur that followed the line of the current WCML spur to Liverpool would be the fastest, though it would require tunnelling under Runcorn and an additional bridge or tunnel crossing the Mersey, passing through the airport and connecting for a run in at Liverpool south parkway.
2.2.2 A secondary route is for a spur further north that would turn west, somewhere just south of the M62 and follow the M62 west. Another option would be to reuse the disused Warrington and Altrincham junction railway, this would provide a connection via Warrington and then join the current WCML at Ditton junction.
2.2.3 This line crosses under the M6, though as various references give the closure of this line as 7.7.1985, with the track remaining until 1988 any blockage must have post construction and likely to be removable.
2.2.4 There would be some complication as this line is still in use to provide freight services to Fiddlers Ferry power station and the loading gauge would have to be expanded to take the larger trains, and while this would involve some expense it would not be prohibitive.
2.2.5 There are several road bridges and level crossing on the route, however, the line can be worked from either Warrington or Ditton allowing the supply to Fiddlers ferry to be continued through the works.
2.2.6 From Ditton Junction to Edge Hill using the current WCML route is totally Quad rail. Modifying the current express lines to allow the passage of GC trains and for trains adapted to the different platform profile such as the Classical Compatible to use the platform, would allow full access as far as Edge Hill..
2.2.7 According to the Telegraph with regard to Double-deck trains, “Network Rail has been told by the Government that all future engineering projects must take them into account.” (David Millward, 30 Dec 2005) which would mean that raising the OHE for GC Gauge would comply with this.
2.2.8 Another submission by the Liverpool Too group has identified an open country run-in to Liverpool connecting with existing lines via a tunnel under Bowring Park rejoining the original Liverpool to Manchester line in the Olive Mount cutting or joining the defunct North Liver Extension Line at Gateacre before a tunnelled connection at Broad Green to the Olive Mount cuttings.
2.2.9 These run-ins could be accessed from Ditton junction via cross country routes of at most 3 miles. This would reduce the complication in adjusting the Gauge from Ditton to Edge Hill as there are few bridges.
2.2.10 All the run-ins eventually converge on Edge Hill and while it may be possible to extend Lime Street to provide the Required 450m Long Platforms to handle European trains, it may not be simple. Providing a new station underground accessed from the Waterloo Tunnel would seem the simplest answer. If at about 90 degrees to the current platform alignment the underground section could also be accessed from Liverpool Central station. The location of the tunnel can be seen from the location of a ventilation shaft in the National Express Bus depot.
2.2.11 If, for some reason, that route is not acceptable a new tunnel could be drive from Edge Hill possible using the entrance to one of the existing tunnels preferably the short Crown Street Freight Tunnel. This would again avoid affecting infrastructure with other possible uses.
2.2.12 Depending on the costs of lowering the floor of the Waterloo Tunnel to accept a double track GC line, a single track tunnel could be run from the Crown Street Tunnel, providing access to a through station beneath Lime Street which could be exited via another Single line using the Waterloo Tunnel and emerging again at Edge Hill. The economics of this would depend up the cost of adaptation versus new bore.
2.3 Europe
2.3.1 One thing that does seem missing is a through station in London. Such a station to the north of Euston would provide direct access to the Channel Tunnel for trains from the north, without the need to change direction at London, this station could be implemented far easier than the total rebuild of Euston and could provide relief during that rebuild.
2.3.2 Such a station should be considered a necessity for HS2, it may bee that Old Oak Common proposals meet such a requirement but the blandness of the name rather than something like London Continental, seem to underplay the possible significance of the station.
2.3.3 The lack of emphasis on the European aspect I think reflects more the London centric nature of this plan, which concentrates on reduced journey times to London.
3 Alternates
3.1 Spurs
3.1.1 Rather than build the High Speed spurs directly into cities like Manchester and Birmingham an alternative would be to build the main line with the final few miles being via existing routes and at existing gauges, with perhaps a process of gradually expanding the gauge on these lines as works permit, to allow full access. In the meantime, a Classic compatible that could tilt and had hydro kinetic braking could be developed and used as the main stock.
3.1.2 This would have advantages in that it could provide services on any electrified line in the UK and a large portion of European lines at greater speed. See APT2 below.
4 Standalone if Classic Compatible Only.
4.1 Link
4.1.1 The use of the Warrington and Altrincham line would still be a viable option freeing up capacity on the Crewe-Runcorn line and providing faster working further North. This would be at the cost of the reinstatement of an extra junction and reinstatement of 6 miles of disused rail bed, plus electrification from Warrington Bank Quay to Ditton Junction, together with the rebuilding of Platforms at Warrington.
4.2 Station
4.2.1 A new series of platforms could be created beneath Lime Street station accessed via the Waterloo tunnel, a further compromise would be to use the tunnel itself to provide a platform of sufficient length with connections via moving walkways to Lime Street. This would address some of the problems that will be created by the trains being shorter than the current Virgin services.
4.2.2 The continuation of the tunnel could be used for a Tram connection to Peel Holdings proposed Liverpool Waters and the Cruise Liner terminal at the Pier head.
4.2.3 Train tram system connecting Warrington Bank Quay via Liverpool Airport with Liverpool Lime Street using existing Bank Quay Low Level to Lime Street line, with an addition tram section providing the final connection.
4.2.4 Extension of some London to Liverpool services to Edinburgh via Wigan and Glasgow
4.3 TransPennine Mainline
4.3.1 The Electrification of a route between Liverpool and Hull via Manchester, would allow a proper high-speed connection East to West, something which is badly needed. One problem that HS2 will create is that the already abysmal TransPennine journey times will look even worse when compared with north-south times.
4.3.2 This would be another line that would befit from APT2 as would any Norwich to Bristol line.
4.4 APT 2
4.4.1 The primary difference between the APT that ran in the early 80s and the Pendolino is the braking system of the APT, this included a hydrokinetic element that allowed the train to brake within the existing block structure of the railway. The titling system used on the Pendolino was acquired from British Rail by Fiat Ferroviaria. This included the Hydro Kinetic system which they did not use.
4.4.2 The addition of such system would allow faster running on virtually all Electrified main lines, if those lines were fitted for in-cab signalling, the track side infrastructure that would enable this, is being installed by Network Rail. This could be done at a fraction of the cost of HS2.
4.4.3 If this train was developed in place of the proposed classic compatible it would extend the benefits over a far greater area more at a greater rate. Using the high speed network now in place across Europe as the core and providing higher speeds on existing lines.
4.4.4 An APT2 capable of 250mph on suitable lines and 160 on traditional lines. On certain parts of the TGV network, it would be faster than the TGVs due to the tilting especially in southern France.
4.4.5 It may also find usage, with a different gauge on Ireland. It would also provide further enhancement on the Greater Western lines and on any proposed Norwich Bristol rote.
4.4.6 It would be best to develop this as the primary rolling stock rather than a train dedicated to the GC loading gauge. These trains would be useful as soon as developed not dependent on HS2 at all and would bring the benefits forward as far as possible for as many as possible.
4.4.7 While in the early 80s this was state of the art today no part of it is novel, beyond the hydrokinetic brakes and the market stretched far beyond the UK and HS2.
5 Conclusion
5.1.1 It is by no means certain the Liverpool can obtain a direct connection within the current plans, whatever happens, we must seek to maximise the potential gain from HST by highlighting where we have common interests with other areas not immediately served and by keeping mind that there are other objectives beyond direct access.
5.1.2 For Liverpool the important things is to secure a direct connection to the European hubs of Paris and Frankfurt, as a European city, these are our peers, not just London. This requires longer platforms in Liverpool and trains that can traverse the channel tunnel. It additionally requires a through station in London.
5.1.3 A train of the capabilities of the APT 2 outlined could provide that access with only a new station and no HS2, with HS2 the capabilities of the system would grow incrementally as would the benefits for Liverpool. The same would be true for large chunks of the UK and would perhaps be more attractive to EU investment as a Berne gauge High speed train. It is unlikely to be a technology that will fall into disuse before the trains have completed their full life cycle.

See also  Ditton to Lime Street and East of Lymm.

HS2 disused line crossing

Illustration 1: Overview

Illustration 2: HS2 to Warrington Bank Quay

Illustration 3: Warrington Bank Quay to Ditton Junction

Illustration 4: Ditton Junction to Edge Hill

Illustration 5: Edge Hill to Lime Street

Illustration 6: Lime Street to River Mersey

Illustration 7: Airport Train Tram options

Illustration 8: Crown Street Cutting and Tunnel Portal

Illustration 9: Waterloo/Victoria Tunnel Portal
Copyright John Bradley 2013

More documents on rail here.

Friday, 18 October 2013

A Pan Northern Railway

Over recent years many studies, produced by a variety of organisations, have put forward plans for the development of the rail network in the north of England. Those plans have a considerable amount in common but have never been unified into a single plan. I consider it likely that a plan that combined all of the various schemes would produce a benefit greater than the sum of the parts.
The majority of the Northern Hub plan is either beneficial or neutral as far as the Liverpool City region is considered, however it does concentrate on Manchester and in doing so produces problems for the overall network and does not maximise the benefits of the enhancements being made,
In the 20th Century, Great Britain has lost 1 main line and had another curtailed. This has reduced the redundancy in the network to an unsustainable level.

Pan Northern Line

Presenting the improvement of east, west links as a new mainline would allow easier comprehension. Such a route would have a primary alignment from Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds-York-Hull. With the upgrades announced in the Network Rail document it would seem that the Chat Moss line would be the best candidate for the western part of the route and would benefit from a quad line throughout as would the rest of the route.
A route is operational and would only need to be modified for the performance required for Main Line operations and possibly being converted to Quad line.
A more direct route could use the York to Beverley Line though a direction change would be required at York or the building of a new curve allowing from the south.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Local Development Framework Transport Development Plan for 2006 projects a cost of £239 million to reopen the line and the Council's Core Strategy Document in 2008 maintains this commitment.
The North Wales coast mainline from Chester could also be included as a Branch, providing a fast link from the ferry port at Holy Head to the port of Hull, in addition to the connection to the port of Liverpool, that the main route would provide, providing a valuable link in Ireland's connect to the European mainland.
Such a TransPennine Main Line would connect the existing WCML and ECML and any extended Midland Mainline, providing redundancy on routes out of London. It would perhaps also provide a link to the occasionally mentioned One Wales line.
The possibility of an addition east-west Main Line from Norwich via Birmingham to Bristol and South Wales would seem reasonable

Midland Main Line

The proposal to improve the connection between Derby and Manchester, using the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway line could be seen as the reinstatement of the portion of the Midland Mainline route that was closed in the 1960's, though the route actually used could that of the Great Central Railway, which closed at the same time. Either way, it would be easier to explain to the public if it was presented as the extension of the Midland Mainline. Unless there are constraints imposed by declaring something a Mainline, the only reason for not phrasing the proposal this way would be the tacit admission that some of the previous closures were a mistake.


The development of a train as outlined as APT2 would enhance all of the 125mph mainlines on Great Britain, providing benefits with no additional infrastructure improvements beyond those already proposed.

More rail docs here.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Jane Kennedy the candidate for Daily Mail readers.

In a world where a sizeable portion of the electorate don't vote and in a city like Liverpool, who through the experience of Hillsbrough, have experienced the institutional corruption of the police, you might expect that the person elected by the public to be eager to be seen to be holding the police to account, but no Jane Kennedy takes the normal politician's role and has become the public face of the police, not the face of the public in the police.
Happy to accept that when police officers are caught acting in a criminal manner on video, whilst other police stand around watching, that it be dealt with internally and not brought before the courts, where the CPS asked for an opinion or was just some pats on the back in private?
The problem is that Jane was elected because she was a member of Labour, she doesn't have to do anything locally, what she is doing is appealing to the Law and Order brigade, that isn't the group that is interested in the law of the land but the group that is interested in having their Daily Mail like views enforced on society with no questions asked.
Her position is to appeal to the right to not reform the police, not to give the IPCC teeth, not to give the Tories even the slightest opportunity to make claims about soft on crime, based on simply wanting the law followed by all. The people whose votes she relied on to get into office will not be put off by her stance, it wouldn't cost her a single vote to be tougher, but some undecided voters somewhere in the UK may be affected if the Daily Mail uses the criticism of the Police by a labour politician to attack the party. For the sake of some floating voters in a marginal, leafy part of the world. Jane is not representing her electorate, but someone else's.
You can see the integrity of those who take the "Law & Order" positions by their calls for the Home Secretary to deport someone against the law. The same home secretary after having been forced to bring the UK extradition standards up to international levels fumes and plots to prevent supervision. It's important to remember the European Convention on Human Rights was written by British Lawyers, trained in the common law. It is as British as it is possible to be, it was designed to in the light of the horrors of WW2, and designed to identify and correct things that the Nazis and the British had done wrong in the run up to WW2. They are not people anyone should be trying to appease but should instead confront.
It's not just me that thinks that but back in 1997 Robert Owen QC put it far better here.
Jane of course views even discussing this as a risk so comes out with her terminal "Not Playing".
As long as there are National Political parties each of their members will never be the representatives of their electorate, but will instead by a representative of the party. It is a rare beast that will put a representation of their electorate before the party. You'll recognise that rare beast by its possession of integrity, something Jane said goodbye to long ago.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

On the Origin of ideas

Where do new ideas come from? For some people the origin of all ideas is so remote
that it is assigned to mythical entities, which passes to humanity some time as a sign of their beneficence and some time as a sign of rebellion against other entities. In other cases humanity steals them from the gods, these come with warnings as with Pandora's box.
Something a little more prosaic would be nice but for some members of the population it seems that they don't understand that things have been invented , that at various times since humanity climbed down from the trees the amount of knowledge available to mankind has increased. It is not that some people or group of people who have either known everything or have had access to a document with the complete catalogue of human knowledge.
To a large number of these people the actual process of conceiving an idea would be considered just making it up and dismissed. No new knowledge can come into the world and definitely not from anyone they know, one of the true statements from the bible is "a prophet is without honour in his own land".
There is a bit more to it than just making it up, that is followed by periods of thinking and consideration of the new idea and the area in which it exists. That is of course if the person just making it up actually realises, at time what will seem the most natural thing in the world, the most obvious will intact by new and revolutionary.
The most demoralising thing to hear in the world is "I've never heard anyone say that" when used to dismiss an idea as the speakers lack of knowledge of something is in some way indicative of the idea being wrong and being fanciful. It also implies that the person who has never "heard the idea" is in fact so knowledgeable of the situation that they can dismiss ideas, the very idea that they do not know something implies that the idea is wrong.
This level of passive arrogance is what dominated society, it is what crushes new ideas, whether they are novel to all of humanity of just to the local situation. Not just genuinely new to the world ideas but also ones that they arbitrators of the mediocre and banal have not heard of are consigned to the bin. They don't replace them with better ideas they don't challenge them with an argument they ridicule them in the same way their racists and xenophobic fellow travellers ridicule other races and cultures. As far as I can tell racism etc. are all watered down branches of ideophobia for those who have specialised in particular source of new ideas to hate.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Dignified rush to war, Syria and the talking Cure.

For the first time, I can remember, the BBC had some footage from inside the French National Assembly covering the vote on Frances participation in any US attack on Syria, the US had a committee meeting today, which will recommend a motion to the US Congress on Monday.
Various people have used this to claim it demonstrates that Britain still has influence other than the use of military power. I'm not going to disagree but it is more a show of the power and influence of debate and reasoned argument.
Through the medium of televised debate pressure is brought to bear on Assad as no one is defending him or his actions. However the pressure will only last as long as the debates continue but it must continue in public with the constant gravity given by lives being in the balance and the sound of arms being readied in the background.
While it is unlikely that it will be headed by Assad it will be heard by his backers, the anonymous men behind the throne who will decide when Assad has become a liability.
Peer pressure is not just something that works at schools or for bad ends, the constant talk is what has moved Putin to raise the possibility of Russian involvement. The Chinese are motivated by the need not to lose face but if and when the arguments are made consistently and well the position will come when face is best saved by realising the facts on the ground have changed and there is no dishonour in changing position.
Of course Assad's regime will realise this and work very hard to steer clear of crossing any lines but that assumes that the public and political face of Syria is the face of those pulling the trigger. Eventually either the international community will act and Assad will fall or the hidden powers in Syria will pre-empt any action by removing Assad.
In either event those truly responsible not the just the public faces must be taken to task otherwise they will still be pulling the strings.
Syria was created by the west in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman empire the west can therefore also undo it and allow the locals to remake the territory in a way that reflects the communities, this will be even harder to sell to some than an attack would but Syria is no more natural self determined union than the Soviet Union was. It is full of ethnic tension and conflict and is at the root of the problems.
The same is true for several other states in the region who will see their days as numbered with the de merger of Syria they can be expected to fight tooth and nail to stop it but it is a requirement for long term peace. The same talking cure we are now experiencing must lead the solution.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Trouble in the Neighbourhood.

Q. If you knew that your neighbour was bullying their spouse or other members of their family, what would you do if the family stood up and started fighting back?
If the conflict became a spiral of greater and greater aggression and violence when would you step in?
How would the attitude of the various in-laws affect you?
What if there was a sectarian division in the family, while your of a totally different religion or non?
So you decide to have a quiet word raising your concerns but while one side wants you to do more the other wants you to keep your nose out!
The in-laws find out and they want to have their say! One set of in-laws wants you to get involved while the other set don't.
Perhaps you should go to some external body to get some advice and get them to do something. Some of the officials send off a stiff letter to both spouses telling them to calm down, but that has no effect.
Perhaps they could go around and intervene or give you permission to you, to do so? But the neighbours on the other side are also having a bit a rough time and one of them works in the external body and is in a position to stop it giving permission, as they are worried you will start sticking your nose into their business.
Some of your mates suggest that they will help if you getting involved.

What Would you do.

Friday, 23 August 2013


APT at Preston
The Advanced Passenger Train (APT) was developed in the 70s and early 80s by British Rail. It was designed to run at speeds of up to 155 mph on standard tracks with standard blocks and signalling. The primary difference between the APT and the Pendolino is the braking system of the APT, which included a hydrokinetic element that allowed the train to stop within the existing block structure of the railway. The technology used on the Pendolino was acquired from British Rail by Fiat Ferroviaria, which is now owned by Alstom. This included the powered tilting system and the Hydro Kinetic system, of which only the former was used.
Whilst the Hydo Kinetic braking has not been further developed and used, alternate system such as the Eddy current braking used on the ICE3, have been. The addition of such system would allow faster running on virtually all electrified main lines. Though as a result of experience with the APT this would require the fitting of in-cab signalling, rather than current track side signalling, which becomes unreadable at high speed. The track side infrastructure that would enable this, is being installed by Network Rail at the moment as part of its ECTS 2/GSM (R) programme, and the in cab systems developed for other high speed lines and ETCS, are also available and have been tested in the UK on the Cambrian Line.
If an APT2 train was developed in place of High Speed 2's the proposed classic compatible it would extend the benefits over a far greater area, at a greater rate. Using the high speed network now in place across Europe as the core and providing higher speeds on existing lines.
An APT capable of 250mph on suitable lines and 155 on traditional lines, would be, on certain parts of the TGV network, faster than the TGVs due to the tilting especially in southern France. It may also find usage, with a different gauge on Ireland.
It would also provide further enhancement on the Greater Western lines and on any proposed Norwich, Bristol route and shorten the London Scotland journey times by an appreciable amount.
It would be best to develop this as the primary rolling stock rather than a train dedicated to the GC loading gauge, as these trains would be useful as soon as developed not dependent on HS2 at all and would bring the benefits forward as far as possible for as many as possible. Additionally, most of the initial trains that run on HS2 will spend more time on traditional lines, north of Birmingham, than on high speed ones.
While in the early 80s this was state of the art today, no part of it is novel, beyond the braking system and the market stretched far beyond the HS2 and far beyond the UK.
This is a case where a relatively small amount of additional money on top of the Classic compatible development would produce disproportionately great benefits.

Some more of My Thoughts on HS2 and Mesrseyrail.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Theresa Miranda Rightwing.

It seems that once again the Metropolitan police is trying to find excuses for the way it has treated a Brazillian, this one got off slightly better than the Last who was callously murdered on a tube train. This time was detained in transit at London Heathrow under the Terrorism Act 2000 section 2 (4)

(1) An examining officer may question a person to whom this paragraph applies for the purpose of determining whether he appears to be a person falling within section 40 (1) (b).

(4) An examining officer may exercise his powers under this paragraph whether or not he has grounds for suspecting that a person falls within section 40 (1) (b).

Section 40 is

40 Terrorist: interpretation. (1) In this Part “terrorist” means a person who
(a) Has committed an offence under any of sections 11, 12, 15 to 18, 54 and 56 to 63, or
(b) Is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

That it is in the slightest way relevant except that it defines what the questioning can be about.

TPTB can detain anyone without any reason and question them to determine whether they are a terrorist even if they do not suspect that they are a terrorist, but why would you want to do that unless it was to harass someone, even if you suspect some not terrorist crime, you cannot question them about that, you cannot search their equipment for for information relating to a non terrorist matter.

The home office has said The government and the police have a duty to protect the public and our national security. If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that. Those who oppose this sort of action need to think about what they are condoning. This is an ongoing police inquiry so will not comment on the specifics."

Now David Miranda is connected to the Snowden who has released some information from the NSA into the world, to be honest the information relates to the way in which NSA and GCHQ have gathered data. I for one was not surprised by the revelations except for the low cost of the equipment. This is very unlikely to be useful to a terrorist as the levels of paranoia they operate under will make them assume far greater levels of surveillance than actually exist.
Like WikiLeaks the scale of real damage is minimal, everyone thought that governments where 2 faced with each other, and every government knew it was true. The areas that where genuinely in the public interest where the evidence related to war crimes in Afghanistan.
While it seems that the intelligence services are not overly bothered about other WikiLeaks or Snowden, the politicians are. I think it's note worthy that it seems to be the Metropolitan Police that where in the lead on this. The Commissioner Hogan Howe has quite a reputation for giving Politicians what they want, he has happily backed Theresa May at every opportunity.
May's willingness to pander to the authoritarian right was clear if not in her desire to deport Abu Qatada but in the glee she took in doing it. Then there is the pointless destruction of disk drives at the Guardian after the threat of legal action from HMG. Admittedly supervised by GCHQ technicians, who was told of other secure copies of the Snowden data, before they started. Which part of government threatened legal action would it be the Home Office perhaps?
The secret services are by name and inclination secret, left to themselves they would step up internal security to prevent future leaks, try and protect any staff in danger and generally keep a low profile. They would prefer not to have a 3 ring circus with themselves looking like the ringmasters.
This has the stink not of a Police state but a politician making capital, the aim of these actions isn't to enforce the law but to toughen up the Tories image with the law and order brigade, and May's especially. It helps the party fight of the UKIP challenge by highlighting the narrowness of UKIP base when it comes to being bastards and in the event of a Tory defeat it will do no harm in the May's campaign to be the second female PM. The equally pointless Vans with the Illegals go home slogan, where another element in this strategy. May's one and only shot of being PM will require her to become the next leader of the Tory party. If I was you Dave I'd watch my back.

Should the Tories and May be using public funds to engage in electioneering?

Some more learned comments on the matters.

Could David Miranda be a “terrorist”? by Carl Gardner 
David Miranda – Remember his name. UK Human Rights Blog

Sunday, 18 August 2013


According to SoccerU.com this is the right way.
Football has played a strange part in my life, it is important to realise that it is one of the sports I am so amazingly bad it's like a comedy performance. I don't know where I was when everyone else learnt to kick a ball but I got too the toe poke and not beyond, consequently on occasions the ball I kick goes very fast but very rarely in the right direction. I can remember being told that toe pokes were a bad idea but I can't remember ever being given an alternative other than using the side of my foot, which gave me slightly more control but no power.
Before the age of 12 I played badly for MCA under 12 after 12 I gave up unless forced at school it just wasn't worth the constant abuse.
For some reason in my late 20s I decided to try again, I was just as bad but now I had one improved technique, I could stand in the right place on the pitch, the effect of this was to make me even more frustrated that people didn't pass to me when I was in the perfect position because they knew I would screw up and when they did pass to me I screwed up. I did manage to do some trendy stuff like break a metatarsal before it became fashionable.
There was one certain thing in my youth, that the football season started after I had gone back to school and Liverpool would win something important. Unfortunately nowadays neither is true. The premiership has started this year on the 18th of August, to make matters worse the last game was after the FA cup, the gap between seasons has got smaller and smaller.
A Casey by MDBR
Football is a game of the winter, that I learnt on a soaking field in the rain, with a casey who's patented leather had worn so much, that if it had rained in the last 2 years the ball weight about 2 cwt. They had a lace on one side, which was often badly tied and on a cold winter's day would be probably be frozen. If you were mad enough to head the ball and hit the lace, you could end up with stitches in your head, if you didn't throw your head at the ball you'd break your neck and if you did you'd get a concussion. Standing in the wall for a direct free kick was as like charging the cannons in the Crimean war.
Every game would start with 22 lads, most of which were shivering and had legs so white that coupled with the blue veins looked like golems made of Blue Stilton. It was not an impressive sight.
I got a good view from my position as fullback but due to a natural aversion to running unless it was either to catch dinner or avoid being dinner, I was a terrible fullback, I was not in any sense an enthusiastic player. Also, as the number of predatory animals in the Maghull bad lands is limited, I was grossly unfit. By the standards of the late 60s I was borderline overweight by the standards of today I was borderline anorexic.
Some of my legendary literalness came into play when at one match the manager suggested I put my track suit bottoms on, which I did and then went back on the pitch, as I hadn't worked out I was being taken off.
The 60s boot was not an elegant thing, they were not branded and came with moulded soles, only the most dedicated players had a screw in studs. Having this season kit for your league team, to practice in, was not essential, this decade's would do, in fact just about any shirt, of the right colour, would do. They had no names and no numbers on the back. It was very different from the fashion parade of today.
The game itself was also different with a far more physical contact at all levels of the game and often between fans. The railways offered football specials to segregate fans from the general public. Trains would run from the nearest station of one team, right to the nearest station of the other.
Today's game at all levels is very different. The only bit I'm really happy with is the change in the ball itself. Everything else was a move in the wrong direction. The boots are no more than ballet shoes with studs, and the kits fashion statements for the gullible. Used to generate cash for a company that claims to be a club. It used to be the peoples game but is now the owners and players way of getting money, and as the people who used to go don't have enough money they have moved up to tap a richer segment of the market for match tickets, while the rest watch on TV. The only football on TV in the 70s was the odd international or European game plus highlights on match of the day. Late Saturday afternoon in Liverpool city centre witnessed groups of people huddled outside TV Rental Shops trying to catch the results on Final Score. It was always cold and raining and it was always winter, during the football season, only the FA Cup final, the last game of the real football seasons was allowed to be played under anything other than an overcast sky.

Monday, 12 August 2013

One of our aircraft carriers is missing.

Possible layouts of Queen Elizabeth class carrier.
It struck me that when considering aircraft carriers that there are only 3 types in operation, the main big type is the CATOBAR configuration, probably the next most common in STOBAR and finally the configuration the Royal Navy has used since the 1980s, STOVL. This leaves one unused combination CATOWVL (Catapult Assisted Take Off With Vertical Landing).
The various options have different advantages, with CATOBAR using an angled deck and STOVL airplanes can be launched while others are being landed. With STOBAR that can't happen as planes that miss the arrestors will run through into those waiting to take off, with STOVL the landing points are aft of the start of the launch roll.
The advantages of catapult launched is an aircraft can be launched at full weight, so fully fuelled and fully armed, with short take off payload is lost but the aircraft carrier can be simpler as it doesn't need catapults. The next generation of carriers will use electrical system, know as EMALS, in place of the original steam powered catapults, which take less space and could possibly be fitted on to a ski-jump/ramp.
With vertical landing the complexity of the arrestor system is lost at the expense that the air-plane must carry the vertical flight system which is not of inconsiderable weight. This reduces the space for fuel and increases the total weight of the airframe, so you get a cheaper carrier at the expense of a fighter with less range and payload but with the added maintenance cost of the vertical flight system.
While a CATOWVL carrier would have the expense of a catapult and sacrifice some of the capacity of the aircraft for the vertical flight system, it would allow a heavier launch weight, than short take off, it would not require adequate size to let an aircraft run through if it missed the arrestors or require the space taken up by the arrestor system.
This could result in a radically smaller ship this would inevitably mean a smaller hangar deck and therefore a limited aircraft compliment, but might provide a better option than the strictly STOVL Sea Control Ship concept of the 1970s. With an August-Westland AW609 converted for AEW & COD this would would off increased capability over the SCS and could provide a UAV carrier and escort ship of outstanding performance for its size, possibly similar to the UXV version of the type 45.
One possible application of this could be to retrofit several EMALS to the Queen Elizabeth class carrier while upgrading the F35B to be catapult launched. This would be the best way of increasing the capability of the class at the lowest expense.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Big Blank Point

I'm watching Grosse Pointe Blank which is one of my favourite films, spoilt by the presence of Dan Aykroyd, obviously the great sound track goes some way to make up for it, together with John Cusack and Minnie Driver.  The scariest bit of the film for me is the idea of a school reunion, that even beats the idea of meeting up with an ex.
As an excruciatingly socially awkward human being I found school discos very painful, seriously glued to the wall but not wanting to leave, having to brave it out, until the end of the evening, when I could unplug the disco equipment and go home. Most of my time at secondary school was that bad, I hoped that as I grew up and moved on things would somehow improve, that somehow I could prize myself off the wall and escape me, but that never happened and is in all likely hood impossible.
In a lot of ways that this was inevitable but it may not have been, it doesn't seem to have been for the other awkward people, I knew, while they may not have grown up to be the life and soul of the party they have definitely grown up to make a better stab at life than I have.
I don't know why I have this attitude part of it must go back to my childhood, but whether it is nature or nurture, I can't tell. I definitely seem to have some problems especially involving spelling and grammar but for the most part I think they are just symptoms of an underlying laziness/depression which may or may not be driven by clumsiness and general physical inability. I can't help thinking that if I was actually good at one thing it may have helped, but other than being disruptive, there are very few things that I'm not bloody awful at.
There are definitely some instances which point to it being very early indeed. I can clearly remember that day in 1968 when I was literally dragged, for portions of the journey, to school for the first time. Already a deep fear of change or meeting new people was evident. It wasn't that I didn't like going out, it wasn't that I didn't like new places, it was that I was terrified of people. Admittedly it was different the next day when I was quiet happy to go, or at least think I was.
To this day I continue to live in the past, my life is spent in a constant state of regret, I never lived in the now, this causes some problems, which builds up my bank of regrets to fester over. The past is not a nice place as you are powerless to change it, the result will always be the same, how you actually learn from the past without becoming stuck in it is a difficultly for most of us.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Boeing Engineers buy Management hats.

It hasn't been a good year for Boeing. In the early part of the year, their brand spanking new 787 Dreamliner was grounded because of several battery problems, some of which resulted in fires. After 4 months of trying work by Boeing, the 787 was declared airworthy when several fixes were made. Primarily fitting the batteries in a large semi armoured box and increasing the spacing between batteries to allow more cooling. The root cause of the problem was never identified, everything that looked dodgy was fixed but with no definitive proof.
Boeing rolled out the fix to the entire fleet start with Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in May, hoping this was the end of the story but come the 12 July and another fire is reported on a 787 parked at Heathrow, this aircraft had been parked up for several hours and the fire was detected by a smoke detector in the cabin.. This time doesn't look like the batteries, as the fire is in a different place, just in front of the fin.
The few schematics of the aircraft, that I have seen, give this as the location of an electrical power distribution hub, which I suspect should have been largely idle at the time simply providing power for lighting, air conditioning and perhaps so cleaning appliances. The source of the power was most likely a ground feed with no power coming from the batteries and the APU switched off.
This doesn't totally isolate it from the batteries as they are essentially part of the same system which leads to the possibility that will be familiar to most programmers, that when you fix one problem another one shows up or you discover that despite finding a problem in one place the problem persists because it was occurring earlier on in the chain but only becomes apparent.
In this case, if we imagine that the batteries are overheating because their current flow exceeds the specifications. If the batteries are then uprated to take this flow, then there will still be excess current flowing around the system which will produce heat and if there are any vulnerable parts they may fail.
I don't know whether the batteries were being charged or discharged at the time of the fires or if they were in any other mode at the time, but several do appear to have happened on the ground, with the reduced airflow, this would produce overheating compared with when flying, this would also apply to this location in the aircraft.
In some forms of battery-backed power supply all input power is directed via the battery system so that if the external power fails there is a smooth transition to using the batteries. If this is the case with the 787's system then it would mean that the power reaching the power distribution points would have gone through the battery system.
If this is a completely separate fault then perhaps the problem has been fixed but it is still a problem that Boeing could not pin down the fault, it is an unsatisfactory state of affairs as you cannot say you have fixed something you did not identify, at the very least Boeing should be continuing to investigate the original problem, until they can categorically explain what it is and demonstrate the fix works and that they now understand the system.
After the 1986 Challenger disaster, it became clear that some of the Morton Thiokol engineers had been asked to make decisions with their "management hats on", rather than their engineering knowledge, Boeing looks to be doing the same. If there was a professional body for Engineers this should result in some being kicked out. The point of being a professional is that you but the ethics before company and self. We have been here before it is usually doesn't end until people die.