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 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.