Archive for the Travel Category

Self Drive/Electric Cars? – No I Don’t Think So!

Posted in America, Britain, Environment, European Union, Human Rights, Insanity, Modern World, News, Traffic, Travel with tags , , , , on 25/01/2016 by floroy1942

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the main accent seems to be on driverless cars as people become more and more fascinated by them. We are hearing pundits say that they are the transport of the future, but to be honest I doubt it, at least not in the form currently envisaged. It’s just like the electric car that many people say will be the main mode of transport in the coming years. Sorry but I don’t believe a word of it.

Survey

Survey

First of all, let us take the driverless car that is supposed to revolutionize our future transport system. Can you honestly believe that in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Beijing and all the other major cities in the world known for their massive traffic jams, that people will travel around these cities in a driverless car. Not a chance.

With a human at the wheel a vehicle will get through dense traffic far quicker than if it is automated. All such cars must have certain safeguards built into the system to prevent us humans from being hurt in an accident, so you will never see an automated vehicle pushing its nose into a stream of traffic at a junction for example. To get through traffic jams today you have to be cheeky, or you will never reach your destination, and that is something automated cars are not good at.

They may be fine for travelling from Madrid to Paris or from New York to Las Vegas for example, but that is not something the majority of people do every day. In cities and towns most people use the car to get to and from work so it is clear that will be the main usage, and I just don’t see the driverless cars catching on for this purpose.

To me what is far more likely is a completely automated system of  passenger transport with no cars on the road at all. It would be like an automated taxi service where you call up a small automated vehicle, give it a destination and it takes you there. Just like in the sci-fi movies.

Charging

Charging

When it comes to electric vehicles I think they are even more unlikely in great numbers. The electricity generating companies in many parts of the world are currently struggling to satisfy the power requirements of major cities across the globe, and yet, people think that electric vehicles as a mode of transport will take off. I can tell you now that ain’t likely to happen folks.

Even if we had only fifty thousand electric vehicles in London the power companies would not be able to keep pace with the demand, and that applies across the world. As we all know, electric cars are severely limited in their range due to the necessity of recharging the batteries, and the simple fact is we do not have sufficient power generation resources to have millions of electric vehicles charging every day.

But this is not all, for what do we do with the car batteries when they are no longer needed? They are not exactly environmentally friendly are they, and as electric cars have accidents or get scrapped what do we do with the batteries?

Last but not least, has anyone worked out the pitfalls with car insurance in these scenarios? No! I thought not!!!

I’m afraid that when it comes to the all-electric vehicle the demands will be too much, and don’t forget the massive electricity bills you will have to pay each month.

Flying CarThere is just one more mode of transport that is circling in the background, and that is the flying car. This I find totally impractical for the simple reason that every owner would be required to follow a course to obtain a flying licence. But more to the point, such a thing would be very dangerous. Can you imagine cars taking off and landing on roads and flying willy-nilly across the skies. It would be impossible to maintain a flight plan system for car drivers which would mean chaos, and they would be falling out of the skies like leaves from a tree.

It all sounds very fine, but none of this will come to proper fruition now or in the future. The future will be a lot different. Who knows, we may run out of oil first, and then we will end up back in the Middle Ages.

Roy.

Is It Really Possible To Live On Mars?

Posted in America, Environment, Health, Insanity, Life in the Universe, Modern World, News, Space, Travel, USA with tags , , , , on 25/10/2014 by floroy1942
Going To Mars

Going To Mars?

I have read with some interest the reports on sending people to live on Mars, and the experiments currently taking place in Hawaii. Although I am not a scientist, it makes me wonder if we are not going too far. The idea that six people could live a sustained life on the Red Planet for many years seems just a bit too ambitious.

Mars Habitat Trial In Hawaii

Mars Habitat Trial In Hawaii

Consider what it would be like. You live in a small habitat (1,000 sq.ft.) with five other people with basically no-where to go. No bars, cinema’s, local shops, parks or even family. You can go outside but only when wearing a spacesuit, and once you get outside what can you do, basically nothing except go for a stroll. In the first few months there will be all sorts of experiments to keep you busy, but when they are finished, what then? You are doomed to spend the rest of your life on this planet because you can’t get back to Earth. I think the average person would go crazy after a few months of this.

Inside The Dome

Inside The Dome

The current experiments in Hawaii are looking at how people will react to one another when cooped up in a single habitat with nowhere else to go. So far there have been two missions of four months each, and two more are planned, one of eight months and one of a year. These experiments will give a good idea of how people react to each other in a small space over a given period.

Cosmic Rays - Earth Is Protected By Its Magnetic Field

Cosmic Rays – Earth Is Protected By Its Magnetic Field

The first challenge will be to get there and still be in sufficient good health to be able to build your habitat. Experience has already shown that prolonged exposure to cosmic radiation, which is everywhere in space, is detrimental to health. NASA has already learnt this from I.S.S. astronauts who stayed on the space station for prolonged periods. Experts consider the longest time a man can be in space is 400 days, and for a woman it is less at 320 days. The strength of cosmic rays is determined by the sun which goes through periods of high and low activity. The more activity the less the rays will penetrate our solar system. The time taken to reach Mars is anything from 131 to 225 days depending on the orbits of Earth and Mars.

So this begs the question, what affects will the cosmic radiation have on the Mars astronauts? Prolonged exposure to cosmic rays will cause radiation sickness and cancer. Will they be fit enough to get out of their capsule and begin building their habitat, or will they even survive long enough to get there? All questions no-one seems to have an answer for.

Let us presume they make it to the landing site, for then comes the next big challenge i.e. building their home. In a Mars atmosphere this could take weeks, and in the meantime they will have to live in their capsule or ship. One would presume that earlier spacecraft had been sent to the planet stuffed with building parts, tools and of course food and water. One can only hope that the craft carrying them will land near enough to those supplies. Imagine if something goes wrong and they land perhaps ten or a hundred earth miles from the supply craft. That could be a disaster. The one thing never to be forgotten is that with any plan, something can always go wrong.

Oxygen Scrubber As Used In Submarines

Oxygen Scrubber As Used In Submarines

Given that everything goes to plan, the habitat is built and they move inside, what then? They are forced to rely on man-made equipment that must keep them alive until either they die of radiation sickness and cancer, old age, or just maybe space science makes sufficient advances to bring them back in maybe ten or twenty years. So far as the habitat is concerned, they will have to rely on oxygen scrubbers to provide them with this necessity and they do work for long periods, like in submarines, but would they last for years on end? Everything has a life when it eventually wears out or something breaks.  Any breakdown in the oxygen system would be catastrophic, for the repair shop is not just around the corner.

ISS Meal - Yummy!

ISS Meal – Yummy!

The next thing that comes to mind is food. Current plans showing the proposed housing unit does not seem to show any space for plants. If that is the case then growing their own vegetables is out of the question. The inhabitants may have to rely on so-called space rations like they use in the space station. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life eating goo from a plastic bag. Can you?

ISS Supplies En Route

ISS Supplies En Route

People living on Mars will also require regular supply rockets in order to keep them alive. Anything can interrupt this which would condemn these people to die. A rocket failure, a tracking failure, even an economic crisis that would prevent such an expensive endeavour, for expensive it would be.

Launch Failure

Launch Failure

Allowing for the twenty four minute delay in radio transmissions to Mars, I can imagine the faces of the Mars crew to hear that their next supply ship has crashed on the launchpad. I for one would certainly not volunteer for something like this and I don’t think any sane person would. There are many experts who are of the opinion that this project is impossible from a practical viewpoint and it may be cancelled, but we will have to wait and see.

Moon Landing

Moon Landing

There is a saying; “Don’t run before you can walk”, which seems to aptly describe this current endeavour. It would make more sense to try this on the moon before attempting to put people on Mars. At least it doesn’t take ten months for anything to get there, communication is much better and it would not be as expensive. Most important though, is that it would be possible to retrieve people if the whole experiment went wrong. Perhaps someone should give this some thought.

Roy.

How Pathetic Can You Get?

Posted in Britain, England, Insanity, Justice, Modern World, News, Politics, Travel, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 04/10/2014 by floroy1942
Unfortunate Number Plate For Argentina

Unfortunate Number Plate For Argentina

I have been reading today about the mess that the BBC Top Gear team have gotten themselves into whilst filming in Argentina. It seems they have now been thrown out of the country, and for what; A car number plate! It would seem someone made an unfortunate choice when choosing a Porsche for the show to be filmed in Argentina, because it had the number plate H982 FKL!

It appears that someone spotted this and linked it to the failed 1982 invasion of the Falkland Isles by Argentina, which eventually started an uproar in the country culminating in the team having to abandon three cars and get out as quickly as possible.

Car Damage From Rocks Thrown

Car Damage From Rocks Thrown

The BBC has been accused of using that specific number plate as a provocation but Andy Wilman, executive producer for Top Gear, said on Thursday: “Top Gear production purchased three cars for a forthcoming programme; to suggest that this car was either chosen for its number plate, or that an alternative number plate was substituted for the original is completely untrue.”

All three cars used by the presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were pelted with rocks, and even the support vehicle used by the rest of the crew. According to reports the cars were abandoned at the roadside, and the production team escorted to the airport where they boarded a plane out of the country.

Top Gear Team

Top Gear Team

It is not the first time the Top Gear presenters have been involved in controversy, there have been many such episodes in the past. Perhaps that is why the programme is so popular all across the world. Jeremy Clarkson has been hauled up in front of the bosses on several occasions for verbal gaffs during a show. But I have to say, I like the show very much because it does not bow down to the ‘holier than thou’ pundits of this world.

It is true that the subject of the Falklands is a very touchy subject in Argentina because they claim the islands belong to them. Their invasion in 1982 failed dismally when Margaret Thatcher sent a task force to unseat them. Once that decision was taken their army didn’t stand a chance.

Our Hero's

Our Hero’s

The whole episode was only a means of distracting the Argentinian people from the state of the country under the then military dictatorship. For the last few years the current president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been using the same tactic to distract the people from the current economic hardship the country is suffering.

Every now and then she bleats to anyone who will listen that the Falklands are Argentinian territory and they want them back. Most of this has happened since large amounts of oil were found beneath the waters around the islands. Either way, she will not get them.

The Top Gear team are once again in hot water and I am sure David Cameron will get a visit from the Argentinian Ambassador in the days to come. How this will end is anyone’s guess.

Roy.

Driver-less Cars and Something No-one Has Thought of Yet.

Posted in America, Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Modern World, News, Traffic, Travel, UK with tags , , , , on 19/08/2014 by floroy1942

I was sitting here reading about driver-less cars being allowed on roads in the United Kingdom, and a thought struck me (No, it didn’t hurt).

There seems to be one aspect of driver-less cars that no-one seems to have thought out yet. How do you insure such a car?

Suppose you are reading the newspaper behind the wheel of your trusted driver-less car and there is a failure on a circuit board somewhere and you hit another car?

My thought was, who pays for the damage to the other guys car, and  yours. Most will think, “Oh it will be my insurance”, but, when the circuit failure is found you may not be the one to get the bill.

Now the big question comes, if there is an electronic failure with the car that leads to an accident, who pays, your insurance or the car manufacturer?

The insurance companies have a lot of work on their hands rewriting their policies for accidents when it come to this new phenomenon, and I think it will be tricky.

Either way, if you buy one – Good Luck!

Roy.

Has Walmart Started Its Own Airline?

Posted in America, Britain, Europe, Germany, Insanity, Modern World, News, Obesity, Overweight, Travel with tags , , , , on 24/02/2014 by floroy1942

As you peruse the following pictures you can be forgiven for imagining the headline to be true.

Did You Say All Refills Are Free?

Did You Say All Refills Are Free?

Thank God For The Seat Belt Extensions

They Are Bought And Paid For, Why Shouldn’t I Show ‘Em Off?

Why Do I Always Get The Seat Next To Someone Like This?

Stewardess:” I have no idea where he’s flying to Captain. He hasn’t moved from that seat for the last Year.”

I…Er…. Sorry Words Fail Me!

I can hardly wait for Walmart to expand into rail and shipping.

Roy

Winter’s Coming!

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, European Union, Germany, Insanity, Travel, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 22/11/2013 by floroy1942

It’s that time of the year when we can expect snow and more importantly, black ice. Here are some of the crazy antics people get up to when driving in such conditions. To finish off, some tips on how to drive on ice and snow.

You have to wonder how some of these people ever got a driving licence

And finally, a little advice of how to cope in winter driving.

Good luck to all if you have to drive in such conditions.

Roy.

Nonsense Time – English Humour!

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Modern World, Travel, UK, USA with tags , , , on 17/07/2013 by floroy1942

If there is one thing that shines out as a British benefit to the world it is their humour. Every culture has its own brand of humour, but none have been exported all across the globe like that of the British.

The following was sent to me by a friend and I would like to share it with you. All were reported in the British press at one time or another, and have been collected together by some unknown person who receives my thanks. Enjoy:

From the British Newspapers: 

Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, ‘We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It’s possible Mr. Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house.’ (The Daily Telegraph)

Police reveal that a woman arrested for shoplifting had a whole salami in her underwear. When asked why, she said it was because she was missing her Italian boyfriend. (The Manchester Evening News)

Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It’s a Special Branch vehicle and they don’t want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian)

At the height of the gale, the harbour-master radioed a coast guard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn’t have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. ( Aberdeen Evening Express)

Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled. “He’d always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out ‘Heil Hitler’.” ( Bournemouth Evening Echo) 

There can be no doubt that even London Underground train drivers have a sense of humour when broadcasting messages over the train’s tannoy system:

A list of actual announcements that London Tube train drivers have made to their passengers…

1) ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologize for the delay to your service. I know you’re all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you’ll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction.’

2) ‘Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I’ll let you know any further information as soon as I’m given any.’

3) ‘Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. The bad news is that there is a points failure somewhere between Mile End and East Ham, which means we probably won’t reach our destination.’

4) ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for the foreseeable future, so let’s take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now…. ‘Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall…..’.’

5) ‘We are now travelling through Baker Street … As you can see, Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don’t think about things like that’.

6) ‘Beggars are operating on this train. Please do NOT encourage these professional beggars. If you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity. Failing that, give it to me.’

7) During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver announced in a West Indian drawl: ‘Step right this way for the sauna, ladies and gentleman… unfortunately, towels are not provided.’

8) ‘Let the passengers off the train FIRST!’ (Pause ) ‘Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care – I’m going home….’

9) ‘Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with ‘Please hold the doors open.’ The two are distinct and separate instructions.’

10) ‘Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors.’

11) ‘We can’t move off because some idiot has their hand stuck in the door.’

12) ‘To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage — what part of ‘stand clear of the doors’ don’t you understand?’

13) ‘Please move all baggage away from the doors.’ (Pause..) ‘Please move ALL belongings away from the doors.’ (Pause…) ‘This is a personal message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the rear of the train: Put the pie down, Four-eyes, and move your bloody golf clubs away from the door before I come down there and shove them up your  @rse sideways!’

14) ‘May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint, it’s only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage.’

My sincere thanks to the anonymous person who collected these stories that we can all have a bright moment.

Roy.

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