Sick of the Traffic?

In and around London there is a serious traffic issue that has been turned into  a major money making fiasco by both the government, but especially the mayors office – whom have yet to table an effective plan.

So here is mine (and it costs a fortune)

The London orbital motorway (the M25) is beyond bursting point for 20hrs of a 24hr day, so put in two direct central London access motorways - predominantly running underground.

This requires several things;

Major central car parking design close to Tube Stations.

A vehicle age limit and vehicle type set of restrictions.

A basic toll to pay for it’s upkeep.

First the Car Park;

Hyde Park… Dig it up and dig it deep, very deep.

Basically build a massive subterranean car park to take at 100 thousand cars. Hyde park actually has several tube lines running beneath it – so open them up and build new stations.

Put in effective fire suppression equipment and security surveillance with instant m25-1-2.jpgresponse.

Put the park back on top of it..

Vehicle age and type restrictions;

No vehicle over 10yrs old can use it.

No commercial vehicles except taxis, that means no vans, trucks or coaches – Emergency vehicles would be exempt this restriction.

This would drastically cut down congestion, accidents and carbon footprint.

Goods and commercial vehicles will have greater freedom and less likely to be caught up in extensive traffic jams burning valuable fuel etc.

Based on the fact that most air and ventilation systems can be filtered and all these thousands of cars will have somewhere to actually park, London won’t just become far more accessible but cleaner too.

The Motorways would have to be big, very big – at least 8 lanes in either direction with clever lane systems for the central intersection. But all this should secure direct access to the capitol for years to come.

It would also mean that it would only take about 25 minutes to traverse the Capitol rather than the one to two hours it now does.

While a major project, it would be cost effective and probably profitable (unlike the Channel Tunnel) with very little real estate to purchase and the possiblity to offer and allow greater access, means more business for london, less pain on the trains and so on. But another issue it resloves for London is the supply of power to the central area. Underneaith the new system, they can install large scale power conduits, removing a very longstanding and expensive issue indeed.

Also, with service access, emergency services would probably seriously improve their responce times.

 

 

You read it here first, so i’m copyrighting it. lol

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Published in: on 24 March, 2008 at 14:12  Comments (1)  

THE GURKHAS

 

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For 200 years these fearsome little guys from Nepal have been part of the British Army. They were the effective reason why the Argentinean army flew the white flag over Port Stanley.

It’s fair to say Port Stanley was totally surrounded at the time anyway, but when the Argies were informed that the Gurkhas were to attack – they promptly surrendered for ‘fear of being eaten’ (seriously, thats what they thought).  Enlarge

 

The Gurkhas carry into battle the 16inch long Kukri knife which is frankly one  nasty bit of kit, which they claim is mainly use for cooking these days – yet the tradition still exists – to draw the knife is to draw blood and they will cut themselves as necessary (assuming there are no enemy to chop up) before returning it to it’s sheath.

Their simplistic Motto of “Better to die than be a coward” is effective enough.

 

The Kukri is still made and supplied by The Kukuri House  today to traditional specifications.

Gurkhas are some of the most friendly people you’re likely to meet and to every last man they’re light hearted and playful comedians, however It’s fair to say that in the rough and tough life of inter-regiment rivalry, no one messes with them.

The British Army are well known for running with vast weight and over long distances, but these guys often double the weight and the distance without breaking a sweat. 

It has now come to a head with many Gurkhas handing back their medals which is about as shameful that any situation can get.

If we as a nation can let all these dumb ass toothbrushes into the UK to live from scum holes like Romania and yet can’t even let trusted loyal servants of Her Majesty the Queen stay – what does that say about our nation?

I can not think of any time before where I believed Her Majesty should intervene – but these are her soldiers and now I wouldn’t accept anything less.

 

 

 

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TWB supports the Gurkhas

 For anyone not knowing who and what the Gurkhas are, the following series of videos are a short documentary that will explain. (it’s a little out of date now as they train in Catterick, Yorkshire rather than Hong Kong)

 If any of these links turn black stating the video is no longer available – just click rapidly over the next one to open the YouTube page directly and follow the links there. 

 

 

 

 

 

For their service, they are not well treated. For years they have requested that once their service is up they are allowed to remain in the UK as a loyal subjects and tax payers.

Published in: on 21 March, 2008 at 13:04  Comments (5)  

ahhhh Dubai

 

If you’ve not been to Dubai, you’ve most certainly heard of it.

In 2006 while working and developing the next generation 4G mobile communication allowing both 20mb downloads AND uploads to any handheld device. I was briefly based in this fair city in the United Arab Emirates.

Now, Dubai is a city in transition and I can not underline this fact more. The Dubai we’re all coming to know isn’t the original Dubai – it’s a whole new glass and steel, business and entertainment wonderland built right next to the old one.

Dubai has a clichéd motto ‘Dream it, Build it and that exactly what they’re doing with no shortage of money to do so.

 

 

 Tourist tour in desert, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11/2007

The next ‘World’s tallest building’ will take some beating when the 800m tall (main floors to 628m) is completed. And is a testament to the prolific work in the region by it’s US designers Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. With Dubailand’s construction also starting, I doubt that there won’t be many of us who will not have been the in 10 years time. 

But… and there is a big But! When I was there, I noticed and mentioned to a friend that I hadn’t seen one ugly woman. Yes many were ‘overly’ glamorous – but I hadn’t seen any ugly women at all.

This is kinda strange and it became a standing joke and a competition to find both the most glamorous women with the ugliest guy. (this is was hard because this scenario existed everywhere) and an ugly woman.

Until one night just before I returned to the UK. We found ONE….. we were so impressed we bought her drinks all night – and her equally horrifying twin sister (bless them, they had no idea).

So, Dubai, there be Monsters here – but they’re hard to find.

(There are no fat monsters at all)

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Published in: on 21 March, 2008 at 02:46  Comments (1)  
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An Interesting Fashion Show – Enjoy, or cringe…

 

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Published in: on 21 March, 2008 at 01:27  Comments Off  
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Philippines ask for cleaner Easter Crucifixions!

This begs belief…    

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They do this to celebrate Easter, but the local Health department wants them to take Tetanus shots first!

How about stopping them? – but then, where would the entertainment value be?

 

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Published in: on 20 March, 2008 at 21:52  Comments (2)  
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Will the A380 due in to Heathrow today, come crashing in?

 

I’m not a fan of Airbus, I’m not a great lover of flying really – but it’s a necessity.

Airbus have this persistent knack of crashing stuff, I dunno, maybe it’s just a Fr**ch thing.(other than the A340 which appears to be almost as good as a 777).

The first time the A380 landed at Heathrow two years ago to test the airport out, almost ended in tears when one wing only just missed the ground, landing so hard it cracked some wing spar’s.

If you want safe air transport – look no further than the Boeing 777. The first and only incident happened at Heathrow a few months ago and it was the first in the aircrafts 13 year history… Now that is safe!

The 777 was designed from the outset to be un-crashable. They started with all known reasons for mechanical failure, designed them out then actually tried to crash the aircraft. This was a whole new approach to aircraft design and construction.

The incident at Heathrow looks at the moment not to be related to the actual aircraft i.e. contaminated fuel. But that 777 dropped over 100ft into the ground and while the damage was obvious – the fuselage never even got bent out of shape.

Here are a couple of videos of some of the tests carried out on the 777.

 

777 Maximum Load Rejected Takeoff – If this video does not play, you can watch it HERE in YouTube. Link willopen in a new window. The others should play fine.

 

Same test with a A340 which catches fire.

 

 

777 Wing load test to destruction (how to write-off a $270m aircraft)

 

 

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The Hype they call the War on Terror… We know a little more about it than most.

 Mainland UK Attacks
 
1970s
  • 1971 12 January: Two bombs explode at the house of government minister Robert Carr. This attack was one of 25 carried out by the Angry Brigade between August 1970 and August 1971. The Bomb Squad was established at Scotland Yard in January 1971 to target the group, and they were apprehended in August of that year.
  • 1971 31 October: A bomb explodes in the Post Office Tower in London causing extensive damage but no injuries. The “Kilburn Battalion” of the IRA claimed responsibility for the explosion.
  • 1972 22 February: The Official Irish Republican Army kills seven civilians in the Aldershot bombing.
  • 1972 19 September: The group Black September post a letter bomb to the Israeli embassy in London killing an Israeli diplomat.
  • 1973 10 September: The Provisional IRA set off bombs at London’s King’s Cross Station and Euston Station injuring 21 people.
  • 1974 4 February: Eight Soldiers and 4 civilians are killed by the Provisional IRA in the M62 Coach Bombing.
  • 1974 17 June: The Provisional IRA plant a bomb which explodes at the Houses of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring 11 people.
  • 1974 5 October: Guildford pub bombing by the Provisional IRA leaves 4 off duty soldiers and a civilian dead and 44 injured.
  • 1974 22 October: A bomb planted by the Provisional IRA explodes in London injuring 3 people.
  • 1974 21 November: The Birmingham pub bombings, 21 killed and 182 injured by Provisional IRA bombs.
  • 1979 30 March: Airey Neave killed when a car bomb exploded under his car as he drove out of the Palace of Westminster car park. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) claimed responsibility for the killing.

1980′s 

  • 1980 30 April: The Iranian Embassy Siege where a six-man terrorist team held the building for six days until the hostages were rescued by a raid by the SAS which was broadcast live on TV.
         
  • 1981 21 January: Sir Norman Stronge, 8th Baronet and his son Sir James Stronge, 9th Baronet are killed by the IRA and their home Tynan Abbey bombed.
  • 1982 20 July: The Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings in London by the IRA kill eleven members of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Green Jackets. 
  • 1982, 30 November: A group called the Animal Rights Militia sent a letter bomb to Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street, the device exploded injuring one person.
  • 1983, 17 December: Harrods was bombed by the IRA. Six are killed (including three police officers) and 90 wounded during Christmas shopping at the West London department store. (See 17 December 1983 Harrods bombing)
  • 1984 12 October: Brighton hotel bombing, 5 killed and several injured in an attempt by the IRA to kill Margaret Thatcher.
  • 1987 8 November: The Remembrance Day Bombing in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. 11 killed by a IRA bomb which went off during Remembrance Sunday commemorations.
  • 1988 21 December: Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie) blown up by a bomb in a suitcase while in flight over Scotland after taking off from Heathrow. 270 were killed.
  • 1989 22 September: Deal barracks bombing: 11 Royal Marines bandsmen are killed and 22 injured when base in Deal, Kent, is bombed by the IRA.

1990′s

  • 1990 May 16: Wembley IRA detonate a bomb underneath a minibus killing Sgt Charles Chapman (The Queen’s Regiment) and injuring another soldier.
  • 1990 June 1: Lichfield City railway station 1 solder is killed and 2 are injured in a shooting by the IRA
  • 1990 20 July: The IRA detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange causing damage to the building. Nobody was injured in the blast.
  • 1990 30 July: Ian Gow MP killed by a car bomb planted by the IRA while at his home in Sussex.
  • 1991, 7 February: The IRA launched three mortar shells into the back garden of 10 Downing Street.
  • 1991 February 18: A bomb explodes at Victoria Station. One man is killed and 38 people injured.
  • 1992 February 28:  A bomb explodes at London Bridge station injuring 29 people.
  • 1992 April 10: A large bomb explodes in St Mary Axe in the City of London. The bomb was contained in a large white truck and consisted of a fertilizer device wrapped with a detonation cord made from Semtex. It killed three people: Paul Butt, 29, Baltic Exchange employee Thomas Casey, 49, and 15-year old Danielle Carter. The bomb also caused damage to surrounding buildings, many of which were also badly damaged by the Bishopsgate bombing the following year. The bomb caused £800 million worth of damage, £200 million more than the total damaged caused by the 10,000 explosions that had occurred during the Troubles in Northern Ireland up to that point.
  • 1992 25 August: The IRA plant three fire bombs in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Bombs were placed in Shoplatch, The Charles Darwin Centre and Shrewsbury Castle. The latter causing the most damage as the castle housed the Shropshire Regimental Museum and many priceless historical aritifacts were lost and damaged by fire and smoke. No fatalities or injuries were recorded.
  • 1992 October 12: A device explodes in the gents’ toilet of the Sussex Arms public house in Covent Garden killing one person and injuring four others.
  • 1992 16 November: IRA plants a bomb at the Canary Wharf, but is spotted by security guards. The bomb is deactivated safely.
  • 1992 3 December: The IRA exploded two bombs in central Manchester, injuring 65 people.
  • 1993, 20 March: Warrington bomb attacks. The first attack, on a gasworks, created a huge fireball but no casualties, but the second attack on Bridge Street killed two children and injured many other people. The attacks were conducted by the IRA.
  • 1993 April 24: IRA detonate a huge truck bomb in the City of London at Bishopsgate, It killed journalist Ed Henty, injured over 40 people, and causing approximately £1 billion worth of damage, including the destruction of St Ethelburga’s church, and serious damage to Liverpool St. Tube Station. Police had received a coded warning, but were still evacuating the area at the time of the explosion. The insurance payments required were so enormous, that Lloyd’s of London almost went bankrupt under the strain, and there was a crisis in the London insurance market. The area had already suffered damage from the Baltic Exchange bombing the year before.
  • 1996, 9 February 1996: The IRA bombs the South Quay station, killing two people. (see 9 February 1996 South Quay bombing)
  • 1996 15 June: The Manchester bombing when the IRA detonated a 1500 kg bomb which destroyed the Arndale shopping centre and injured 206 people.
  • 1996 February 15: A 5 lb bomb placed in a telephone box is disarmed by Police on the Charing Cross Road.
  • 1996 February 18: An improvised high explosive device detonates prematurely on a bus travelling along Aldwych in central London, killing Edward O’Brien, the IRA operative transporting the device and injuring eight others.
  • 1998, 15 August: The Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland. 29 killed and about 220 injured, by a car bomb attributed to the Real IRA.
  • 1999, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April: David Copeland set off three nail bombs in London targeting the black, Asian and gay communities respectively, killing 3 and injuring 129. Convicted of murder on 30 June 2000.

2000 to present  

  • 2001, 4 March: A car bomb explodes outside the BBC’s main news centre in London. One London Underground worker suffered deep cuts to his eye from flying glass and some damage was caused to the front of the building.
  • 2001, 6 May: The Real IRA detonate a bomb in a London postal sorting office. One person was injured.
  • 2001, 3 August: The last IRA bomb, as of August 2007, on mainland Britain explodes in Ealing, West London,injuring seven people.
  • 2005, 7 July: The 7/7 London Tube and Bus bombings conducted by four separate suicide bombers, killing 56 people and injuring 700.
  • 2007 January – February: The 2007 United Kingdom letter bombs
  • 2007, 30 June: Glasgow International Airport attack
  • 2008, 22 May: Exeter Restaurant Bombing (Muslim extremist)

Prevented, failed or aborted attacks; These are attacks which could have constituted a threat to life had they worked or been large enough. Does not include attacks that were merely at a talking stage and were not actually in operation and number several hundred.  

 

  • 1605, 5 November: A group of provincial Catholics attempt to kill King James I and blow up the Houses of Parliament, in what would come to be known as the Gunpowder Plot.
  • 1894, February 15: An anarchist blew himself up near the Greenwich Royal Observatory. This occurred during a series of anarchist attacks in France, culminating in the assassination of President Carnot.
  • 1985: Police found 10 grenades, seven petrol bombs and two detonators at the home of Tony Lecomber after he was injured by a nailbomb that he was carrying to the offices of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party. Convicted under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
  • 1993, October 23: In Reading, Berkshire, an IRA bomb exploded at a signal post near the station, some hours after 5 lb (2 kg) of Semtex was found in the toilets of the station. The resulting closure of the railway line and evacuation of the station caused travel chaos for several hours, but no-one was injured.
  • 2000, 1 June: Real IRA suspected of planting a high-explosive device attached to a girder under the south side of Hammersmith Bridge which detonated at 4.30am.
  • 2005, 21 July:  London bombings, also conducted by four would-be suicide bombers on the public transport, whose bombs failed to go off.
  • 2007, 29 June: London car bombs.

 Northern Ireland Casualties

 The Dead

 Between 1969 and 2001 a total of 3523 men women and children died in Northern Ireland.

Since 1st Jan 2001 to 2005 a further 70 persons have been killed – this is still ongoing. Update: 7th March 2009, 2 soldiers shot dead, 4 others injured in Co.Antrim 

 The Injured

Blown up, Shot and critically maimed 144 500 

 

  

 

 

Published in: on 15 March, 2008 at 08:02  Comments (13)  
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Spoof version of Nickleback’s ‘Rockstar’ called ‘Popstar’

 

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Published in: on 10 March, 2008 at 11:34  Comments Off  
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London Underground Ltd (LUL)

 

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As some of you may know, a few years ago I worked on a major contract for the London Underground.

Called the ‘Connect Project’, it was a total revamp and upgrade of the Telecommunication, IT and CCTV infrastructure. This system is brilliant and light years ahead in technology. It allows for two-way radios to work from the surface to hundreds of feet below ground, allows CCTV to work in real-time even on the trains and the whole network is tied into the ‘Oyster Card’ system and provision was made to allow mobile phone usage.

Ever since the Kings Cross fire disaster, the entire underground network has had a 3 tier fire protection system installed including ‘Hi-Fog’ systems to all public areas.  After the Kings Cross fire a systematic replacement of the thousands of wooden escalators came into effect. This has been a major and costly undertaking due to the fact that new escalators had to be bespoke and built in situ at costs inexcess of £1m each. Each escalator has an optical fibre fire detection system inside and internal fire supression systems. The last of these was finally replaced in 2007.

This whole thing has cost billions of pounds and the final stage is to completely renovate the actual tube stations. The station refurbishment work has now started.

I spent many nights walking the tunnels and stations with ‘Bank/Monument’ being my actual designated stations – the Bank complex (also called the ‘Worm’) is the largest subterranean railway structure (not station) in the world with miles of interconnecting tunnels and apparently the odd ghost left over from WW2, especially the Blitz.

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This map does not show the miriad of service tunnels and other facilities sadly.

However, LUL is a dinosaur of a company and is slowly getting up to speed with the changes moving through it.

As you know, I don’t allow swearing on this blog, but in the interest of the national love of the ‘London Underground Song’ I have posted the video of it here. (this will offend if you don’t like swearing).

 

 

 

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Commercials I like

 

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Published in: on 2 March, 2008 at 04:43  Comments (1)  
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