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Sunday 29 April 2012

Global warming simplified.

Below are three YouTube vids that explain in laymen's  terms why we should not be panicking over Global warming, Climate Change, or any other phrase the watermelons want to throw at us. (Green on the outside, red in the inside) Dr David Evans explains in simple terms (And I like simple, as I’m only an engineer).

Now I know that there is over 30 mins of viewing below, but it’s well worth the watch.

And the politics which you’re not shown.

What do you think? Are you a supporter of sites such as Desmogblog (Author spits and washes his mouth out with soap and water), or have you an open mind.

H/T to Jo Nova

I never knew that.


Did you know 'listen' and 'silent' use the same letters?

Do you also know that the words 'race car' spelled backwards still
spells 'race car'?

And that 'eat' is the only word that if you take the first letter and move it to the last, it spells its past tense 'ate'?

And have you noticed that if you rearrange the letters in 'illegal immigrants,' and add just a few more letters, it spells: 'Go home you free-loading, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, baby-making , non-English-speaking arseholes and take those other hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-shagging, raggedy-ass bastards with you.'

How weird is that? English really is a strange language, isn't it!!!!!!

Saturday 28 April 2012

Friday 27 April 2012


Jokes about German sausage are the wurst .

A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. But he says he can stop any time.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity and I can't put it down.

PMS jokes aren't funny, period.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

What do you call a dinosaur with a extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

H/T to Theo

Thursday 26 April 2012

Wednesday 25 April 2012

What is it that they always use to force us into obedience?

Whenever a quango, lobby group, government department, fake charity, etc, want us to cow down, and toe the line, what do they invoke? You’ll have to press play to find out. Although you might have guessed.

Just saying….

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Warning signs

do not enter

This post is all about plain packaging of cigarettes. So if you are affiliated with ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), you know where the exit is.

ASH are pressurising the government to bring in legislation forcing cigarette manufacturers to package their perfectly legal product in a plain box. There will be a standard font for the brand name, and the package is expected to be an olive green. The only thing that will be in glorious Technicolor will be gory graphics of blackened lungs (Wait a mo while I just take a peak at a packet to find what else), hideous growths, etc.

How many smokers actually even register these pictures? I certainly don’t. Part of the reason being is that in this day and age we are bombarded with a plethora of warning signs. We are suffering from Warning Sign Overload SyndromeTM  in this present day.

A case to prove my point is what you find on a ship’s machinery space entry door. The list below contains some that you will see. There are so many, that your brain doesn’t really register any of them. 

Wear Ear defenders.

Authorised personnel only.

Machinery may start without warning.

Danger high voltage.

Hard hats to be worn.

Do not open this door in event of fire.

No smoking.

Safety boots to be worn.

Inflammable liquids

Freon gas.

No sex please, we’re British.

(OK I made the last one up).

My point is, we are becoming immune to warning signs (Well I am). All it needs on an engine room door is one sign.

This is a dangerous area, take care. 

The same with graphic images on cigarette packages. They just don’t register with me. I just open the packet without a glance.

ASH. You may re-enter.

A reader writes……

To her water supplier.

An open letter to Anglian Water

Anglian Water
Customer Services
PO Box 10642
CM20 9HA

Dear Sir,
A neighbour has just told me that there is a hosepipe ban in force, with threats of £1,000 fines. As I don't take a newspaper, rarely watch television or listen to the radio, and have little interest in current affairs, this came as something of a surprise. Perhaps you would be kind enough to answer the following questions ...

(a) Is it true?

(b) If it is true, when were you going to have to courtesy to inform your customers?

(c) By what right do you tell me how I can use the water I pay you for?

I can think of no other commodity that comes with conditions imposed by the supplier, let alone threats of fines. For instance, if I buy a new computer, PCWorld doesn't tell me which ISP to use or place limits on the websites I visit. When I bought a secondhand car last year, the Ford dealer made no demands on my driving habits and did not tell me how far to drive or how fast.

What's so special about water? I presume that as I have a water meter and therefore pay for every drop I use, once the water enters my property it belongs to me and I can use it as I see fit. If, on the other hand, it remains your property, you are just lending it to me, and you continue to exercise control over it, why am I paying so much?

(d) If you find yourself with a shortage through your own failure to plan ahead and conserve stocks or take measures to obtain fresh supplies from elsewhere, why should I suffer? The energy companies aren't too popular at the moment, but at least they're constantly on the lookout for new oil wells or new countries to buy oil from. What have you done to try and find new sources of water? Have you even talked to the Scots yet, because they've got loads of the stuff?

It's a fairly simple task we all have, isn't it? I do my job conscientiously and thoroughly, so why can't you do the same?

And please don't tell me how hard you've been trying to stem the colossal wastage for which you are responsible. If it had worked, you'd deserve credit for it. But it hasn't, has it?

Yours faithfully,
R.E.Cluse (Mrs.)

Monday 23 April 2012

Dedicated to Miss Pretorius (Skoolteecher)

If only more schools kicked out political correctness and employed the following as a first line of defence against idiot parents.

Think it might work?
I'm going to put something like that on my answering machine to deflate cold callers. *Press 1 for abuse*, Press 2................

If you want the UK to fail.

Swap America for Britain

Earth day



Bugger. I missed it.

Sunday 22 April 2012

A reply from the bubble.

The Westminster bubble that is.

I posted the below paragraph translated into Afrikaans (My son’s partner is fluent in the language. Hi Rialette), into a post at the beginning of the month, in reaction to this article in the Mail.

The Coalition is reviving Labour's ill-fated scheme to snoop on all British citizens online – despite the fact that it was opposed by Liberal Democrats and Conservatives when in Opposition.

All conversations over the Internet and e-mails can be recorded if the government is planning a massive expansion in surveillance.
The coalition is reviving Labour's ill-fated scheme to snoop on all UK citizens online - despite the fact that it was opposed by liberal and conservative while in opposition.
Internet service providers will be required to keep records of all e-mail messages on social networking sites and talks about Skype.
The content of the calls or messages will be recorded, but the authorities will have a court order to obtain if they want to hear or read the contents.
However, the police and security will be able to access details of the communication between
and what time they occur without a court order demanding.

In the mail when I returned home today I found that I had received a reply to a letter that I had penned to my MP, about the above.

Dear Mr Filthy Engineer,

many thanks for your letter of April 3 letting me know of your concerns about the Government’s policy on surveillance.

My understanding is that the Government may be back tracking on the proposals put forward. I am nonetheless going to put your concerns directly to the Home Secretary whom I have asked for the latest position as far as the Government is concerned on it’s proposals in this important area.

I shall be writing to you again when I receive this reply.

I wonder what the further letter will hold.


I’m glad I’m now able to post from a computer rather than a smart phone.

Friday 20 April 2012

Warning. Radiation & DIY.

I took my son to the hospital today to have his thyroid scanned for any cancerous nodules. On Wednesday he was given a dose of radioactive iodine and today he was scanned to see what would show up.

Interestingly he managed to get the scan pics onto his phone, and they make interesting viewing. It would appear that he has a small spot on his neck which would indicate that the last radiotherapy treatment may not have been one hundred percent effective.

Well we'll just have to see what the oncologist has to say.

One of the problems which you don't read about is that before he has the tests or treatments, he has to come off his medication for a couple of weeks beforehand. This leaves him with very little energy.

Mind you, It seems to coincide with the DIY joblist I get handed every time I go up there!

Just joking Chris. (I know you'll read this).

Thursday 19 April 2012

Behind closed doors.

I've been to supermarkets since the ruling came into hiding tobacco from plain view. Although the tobacco control lobby has always iterated it is all for the "Sake of the children", we all know that they just want denormalise smokers. The aim was to see lengthy queues of disgruntled smokers lining up in frustration to buy their packet of 20, and quitting in frustration.

This morning I saw the solution in action. Instead of buying a pack, everyone in the queue bought in bulk.

So stuff you Lansley and tobacco control.

Sorry for the poor quality and brevity of my posts, but not having access to my computer, I'm trying to get to grips with writing posts from my smartphone.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

He's glowing.

As I type this by the green glow emanating from my radioactive son I wonder what the future will hold?

When I was younger, it was an indisputable fact that lung cancer was caused by the nicotine in tobacco products. Later this morphed into tar being the cause. Now it is other chemicals that are the killer.

I'm now seeing the same type of science being practised in the climate change debate.

Have we lost real science discipline in a search for a quick fix?

After all stomach ulcers for years were deemed to be caused by stress and dissenters vilfied. This illness was subsequently found to be caused by a bacterium.

Can science by concensus work, or is it killing millions?

Tuesday 17 April 2012

I'm away.

Blogging will be light. I'm away at my son's place. He's having a radioactive scan to ascertain if he has any cancerous nodules left from his lastb treatment.

Monday 16 April 2012

Stunning display

Now the aircraft are not ours, (Have we any?) but you have to admire this air force for this stunning display of aerial hardware in action.

Watch in full screen mode to capture the full mood of the piece.


I see that the Ollie Cromwell case has just hit the MSM. In the case of the Daily Fail, only online. Bit slow as this has been blogged and tweeted since Friday.

Freedom of speech row over blogger who faces jail for calling councillor a c*** on Twitter

I wonder if this man will get charged with the same?


I doubt it.

Here is all the facts in case you missed them

Sunday 15 April 2012

Helping those in need.

As I walked down a busy street, knowing I was late for Church, my  eye fell upon one of those unfortunate, homeless vagabonds (you  know, tattered clothing, long hair etc) that are found in every town  these days.

Some people turned to stare. Others quickly looked away as if  the sight would somehow contaminate them.

Recalling my old parish Vicar, The reverent Mike, who always  admonished me to 'care for the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the  naked,' I was moved by some powerful inner urge to reach out to this  unfortunate person.

Wearing what can only be described as rags, carrying every  worldly possession in two plastic bags, my heart was touched by this  person's condition.

Yes, where some people saw only rags, I saw a true, hidden  beauty.
A small voice inside my head called out, 'Reach out, reach out  and touch this person!'






girl in jeans

So I did......


bandaged man

I won't be in Church next week....

Saturday 14 April 2012


I’m copying the entire post from Dioclese’s blog.

In an episode that would not be out of place in Orwell's 1984, Bexley Council have persued a prosecution of blogger Ollie Cromwell for calling one of their councillors a c*nt on Twitter.
The so-called 'c*ntgate affair' came about as a result of Ollie tweeting that he thought one of their councillors was a c*nt. Now if you honestly hold an opinion and believe it to be true, then you can't prosecuted successfully for libel or slander, but apparently if you express an opinion on Twitter then you can be found guilty under section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003 for using an offensive word - which is what has happened to Ollie.

More worryingly, the judiciary failed to kick this trumped up piece of crap into touch thus signalling what has been suggested in some circles as 'the herald of the death of free speech'.

Clearly, Bexley councillors are a touchy lot. I refer readers to a tweet posted under #freethebexleyone where @cjmillsnun says 'I am an elected councillor. As long as I'm not being harassed, residents can call me names if they want'. Well said, they man!!
There's an old saying that if you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Perhaps councillors at Bexley should take this to heart. You are, after all, elected to serve the wishes of the people. Now admittedly, people can be right c*nts but you knew that when you took the job on.

What you are not there for is to offer yourself up for self-aggrandisement and to set the thought police on your electorate.
Bexley Council are asking the judge to impose a 180 day custodial sentence on Ollie. By my reckoning this is therefore deemed to be more serious than causing death by dangerous driving where you can get off with less than this.

And while we're on the subject, guess where this prosecution was brought? Yep, Bexley - so clearly no chance whatsoever of any undue influence or bias in the proceedings at all, is there?
Surely, only a c*nt would suggest otherwise..

More HERE and HERE and HERE. And now HERE


work hard

Friday 13 April 2012

Liberal my arse

In January I was attracted to a blog hosted by a Liberal Democrat MP by the name of Stephen Williams. He of course is on the Committee that is pushing discussing the plain pack, packaging of cigarettes.

I just happened to see a link to that post this morning. This MP of course is an expert (Definition: Drip under pressure), who has served for a whole year (2005 – 2006 )(He has a degree in History BTW) as an opposition health committee member. WOW. In his post he states:

This morning I was pleased to help launch Europe’s first major campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of glitzy tobacco packaging to children.  The Coalition Government will shortly launch its consultation exercise on whether to follow the example of Australia and introduce the plain packaging of cigarettes. 

Glitzy. WTF is that? The biggest piece of “Glitzy” on my fag packet is half of one side  taken up with “Smoking Kills”, and the other side taken up with a pic of a bent cigarette with the caption “Smoking may reduce the blood flow and cause impotence.” (I’ve smoked all my life and impotence is no way an issue). You notice that they never say will, it’s always “may”.

It was interesting to review the comments. In a normal post of his, he would attract probably ten comments. In that post he attracted over nine hundred. The few Anti-smokers that appeared were comprehensively shot down with facts and figures, and as usual resorted to playing the man not the ball. Even Mr Williams was not so cocksure towards the end.

However I suspect that being one of our lords and masters he will have decided that us proles are to be treated with contempt, as plain packaging is all for the sake of the Cheeeeldren. (The professional bansturbators love to find someway to use the Children in their cause).

My opinion is that after the plain package introduction and the display ban we will see a rise in smokers. Anything that is tried to be hidden from view will tempt people to try it. It’s human nature.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

I lost my job

I just got sacked from my job with the Samaritans and I don't really understand why ?!

A guy called Abdul phoned and said, 

"I'm lying on the railway track waiting for the train to come".

All I said was, "Remain calm and stay on the line" . . .

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Epic fail


I’ve written before about the failures of offshore wind turbines before.

Apparently the grout failure problem is worse than first thought. From my source I quote the following:

Grout connections, based Densit’s Ducorit product, which sets to a strength similar to that of stone, ran into problems in 2010.

Then, IHS Emerging Energy Research reported that the grouting had started to dissolve on more than 60% of Europe’s offshore turbines, leading the machines to shift on their foundations.

So sixty percent of these turbines are in a dangerous condition.

of course they are trying a different solution for the new turbines. Will it work? Probably not.

“I am not at all convinced the new solution put forward by DNV will solve this problem,” says Golightly, an independent engineering consultant who has been working on offshore wind projects since 2010.

“Allowing what is essentially a brittle hollow cylinder of rock to take the full bending and shear force from the wave and wind loading that the turbines apply to the tower was simply a systemic design error decision, blindly followed by all developers and designers to save time and money.

“The bottom line is it is not good engineering to have two steel tubes joined with rock.”

I think a FOI request to DECC asking how many turbines are out of action is over due.

Monday 9 April 2012

Your house must be green. Or else.

The Scenario. It’s the dead of winter and your old central heating boiler breaks down and cannot be repaired. In the normal scheme of things, you’d get a couple of quotes and give the job of replacing it to the company who could carry out the replacement, quickest and cheapest.

Whilst you sit shivering, you are informed by the winner that you will have to wait to be assessed by the council to see if your house comes up to a standard of insulation.

The new regulations, which will apply to specified home improvements including loft and garage conversions, conservatory extensions, and boiler or window replacements, could come into effect as early as October when the Green Deal is set to be officially launched.

Well I for one will tell the contractor to either get round sharpish or bugger off or I will employ someone else.

As far as I’m concerned it is nothing to do with government how I run my home. It’s my bought and paid for abode to do with as I choose. If I want to be less green than Caroline Lucas, then it’s up to me.

I have a nagging suspicion the government is trying to cover up the fact that this government and the last have realised that there is going to be an energy shortage in the next few years. I think it may have settled into their brains (small) that all this green investment in bird mincers and photovoltaic panels, will leave us set for blackouts in the not so distant future.

In the dash for green they haven't stopped to realise that we need new power stations that can back up supply when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun shines. And they have to be ordered years ahead.

Sunday 8 April 2012

My Easter Message

Seeing that it is Easter Sunday, a little light hearted humour of the religious kind.


After getting all of Pope Benedict's luggage loaded into the limo, (and he doesn't travel light), the driver notices the Pope is still standing on the curb.

'Excuse me, Your Holiness,' says the driver, 'Would you please take your seat so we can leave?'

'Well, to tell you the truth,' says the Pope, 'they never let me drive at the Vatican when I was a cardinal, and I'd really like to drive today.'

'I'm sorry, Your Holiness, but I cannot let you do that. I'd lose my job! What if something should happen' protests the driver, wishing he'd never gone to work that morning.

'Who's going to tell' says the Pope with a smile.

Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 150 Mph (205 km/h)(Remember, the Pope is German.)

'Please slow down, Your Holiness' pleads the worried driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens.
'Oh, dear God, I'm going to lose my license -- and my job!' moans the driver.

The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio.

'I need to talk to the Inspector,' he says to the dispatcher.
The Inspector gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he's stopped a limo going 150 Mph

'So bust him,' says the Inspector.

'I don't think we want to do that, he's really important,' said the cop.

The Inspector exclaimed, 'All the more reason!'

'No, I mean really important,' said the cop with a bit of persistence..

The Inspector then asked, 'Who do you have there, the mayor?'

Cop: 'Bigger.'

Inspector: 'An MP?'

Cop: 'Bigger.'
Inspector: 'The Prime Minister?'

Cop: 'Bigger.'

'Well,' said the Inspector, 'who is it?'

Cop: 'I think it's God!'

The Inspector is even more puzzled and curious, 'What makes you think it's God?'

Cop: 'His chauffeur is the Pope!'

Give me a sense of humour, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humour out of life,
And pass it on to other folk.


Saturday 7 April 2012

Water, Water everywhere…….


Well not really. Here in the sunny south east of the UK, it’s purported that there is a hose pipe ban in force. and that anyone failing to comply could be hit with a fine of up to £1,000.

But is there really a ban? If for instance you don’t watch TV news or the MSM, or local media, how would you know? I suppose that letter from your water company that dropped through the letter box would.

But wait. Filthy Engineer Towers has never received any formal notification from the thieving bastards. So how am I to know? Telepathy, Ouija board, a sign from God?

Bearing in mind recent surveys that show only a tiny minority would dob their neighbour in anyway, due to the fact most people consider the water companies are another set of thieving bastards (Tourette's syndrome at work here), by their shear incompetence in stemming leaks, over share holder profits, they could be in  for a near zero sum game.

Of course I’m a model citizen. Here is my project for the summer.


Friday 6 April 2012


More likely they want “Free of smokers”.

plain packets

Birth day

Blogging will be light to non existent today. My daughter has gone into labour.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Electric cars.

Thinking of buying an electric car and saving the planet?transmission

If you look at the diagram above (Sorry for the poor quality), you’ll see what is required to get the power for the car battery from the source.

Lets look at the efficiencies of the various parts of the diagram, starting with the generating station first. Even a non CO2 emitting nuclear plant is at best 30% efficient due to the lower steam temperatures employed. That’s a start down the slope.

Next comes the step up transformer. Ever wondered why they have to be oil cooled? Using a step up transformer to increase the voltage does not give you something for nothing. As the voltage goes up, the current goes down by the same proportion. The power equation shows that the overall power remains the same.

P=V x I  Power = Voltage x Current

In reality, the power output is always less than the power input because the changing magnetic field in the core creates currents (called eddy currents) which heat the core.  This heat is then lost to the environment, it is wasted energy. It’s actually not too bad at 2%. But 2% never the less.

Now we come to transmission of this power. This is usually transmitted at voltages of around 133kv in the UK for long distances. Here again we lose energy. Estimated at approximately 6%.

Of course we now have to transform it down again to a realistic voltage for consumers to use. Another 2% lost.

Bearing in mind  charging the batteries of your electric car is going to involve turning that AC voltage into a DC voltage and step down to a voltage that will be suitable for your battery, the efficiency falls further. Lets say another 2%.

Overall by my reckoning that makes the whole jiggery pokey to have you on the road is about 58% efficiency overall.

Contrasting that to a modern common rail fuel injected diesel engine at 50% efficiency,  the efficiency is not vastly better.

Of course you have to buy the car first before you can drive an electric vehicle on the open road. Now the agony really becomes real. Even with a generous government subsidy (£5,000), a Nissan Leaf is going to set you back a whopping £25,990.

And for that price you only (On a good day) get a mileage of 109 miles between charges.  


And finally the cost of a replacement battery will set you back over £5,000. (Conservative price. Some sites have reckoned it could be as high as £8,000).

Still want to buy one? Me. I’m sticking to my diesel powered car, which has a range of 350 miles even when my heater is on in the winter. I don’t want to take 3 days to visit my son. (And three days back) After all, who would feed the cats?

I’ve received an invite


With your keen interest in the wind space, I’m surprised to see that you haven’t yet booked your place for the Wind O&M Summit.
It’s only 3 weeks away, and we’re almost at the venue limit but I’ve reserved a pass in your name just in case you can make it but haven’t let me know. However, with tickets selling fast I will be forced to release your ticket back to general sale if you do not register by Monday (April 9th).
Alternatively, if you register online (link below) I’ll make sure it gets processed by the Customer Services team.

I hope to see you in Dallas in April.
Jon Harman
Head of Renewable Industries | Wind Energy Update
7-9 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX, UK

Now if they were to throw in a complementary free first class ticket, I’d go. Bugger my carbon footprint.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

The law


1.Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

6. Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

7. Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with ...Or you are wearing something you don't want to be seen in!

9. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11.  Law of the Theatre - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only 2 people in an entire locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15. Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

16. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

17.  Oliver's Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors' Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better.. But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Reduce your carbon footprint you damned old biddy.

It would seem that there are climate evangelists in the medical profession as well.

Housebound Mrs Mulcahy, 83, was astonished to receive a letter from her practice saying she lived too far away, and giving her 28 days to find another doctor. She has been registered there for 30 years.

Their excuse is:

In the letter, the surgery states: ‘Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live.

I despair.

Is it just me…….

or am I stupid? I know I wasn’t the best at chemistry at college, but it would seem that strange things can happen to a common, every day substance. Apparently it can change depending which part of the country you live in.


I always thought that this consisted  of H2 + O = H2O. Maybe not if this is to go by.

Dr Barnaby Smith of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology said: ‘There are issues to consider, as water has a different chemical composition in the North and the South which can affect the ecosystem.

Maybe I’m worse at chemistry than I thought.

Monday 2 April 2012

Fancy a cruise?



I was just pondering as an ex marine engineer, about the latest Cruise liner to be stricken down at sea with a loss of propulsion and main electrical power.

I’ll describe the propulsion system of my last ship, which although not being a cruise liner, due to it having GUNS and things, had the same basic principle of propulsion and power generation.

Our main source of power was 4 x 4.7 Mw, 6.6kv (6,600 volts), diesel generators. Now 6.6kv voltage is something you have to be really scared about. A small error can submit you to a lethal mini lightning bolt, that will fry you in instant.

These diesel generators have a fuel injection system that supplies fuel to the cylinders at approximately 300 bar (dependant on engine manufacturer). A loose connection, or a split in the pipework can result in a high pressure mist that could impinge on a hot exhaust. Here again I’m speculating as normally the high pressure systems are normally shrouded.

Anyway lets suppose that’s the cause of the fire in the engine room. The first thing that the control room staff would have had warning of this would normally a leakage alarm, rapidly followed by Flame flicker and smoke alarms. Some confusion can occur if the staff check the CCTV cameras, and delay action. I was on one ship where there was a fire in a machinery space, where the engineers entered the control room, looked at the CCTV monitor, saw no picture, and concluded that the camera was defective. In fact it was because the smoke was so dense the camera couldn’t operate. (That was only 90 seconds from the smoke detector operating).

Anyhoo, I digress.

How do you fight a fire when the equipment has such high voltage? The last thing you’re going to do is attack a 6.6kV generator with a saltwater fire hose. you’d be a dead, smouldering corpse, within seconds. ( remember the lightning bolt).

The answer is to inject the machinery space with an oxygen denying gas such as CO2 or Halon. This will hopefully starve the fire of oxygen and result in a non fire position. However it takes a short while to shut down the other generators in a safe manner as many commercial generator take their air supply direct from the machinery space. The last thing you want to happen is the diesel sucking the smothering gas in and then consequently chucking it up the funnel to the outside.

I hope you’re not getting bored.

Whilst the generators are being shut down a team needs to be shutting down all flaps and openings to the machinery space in order that the smothering gas is not going to be dispersed. Time is of the essence.

Once the gas has been released it should extinguish the flames, but will not cool the space significantly. It then becomes a waiting game for the space to cool down to a safe level to allow re-entry without re-ignition of any hotspots caused by air from the re-entry.

One unfortunate side effect is that you’ve lost all your electrical power and the lights have gone off and your fire pumps have stopped. Oh dear.

However, help is at hand. All ships have an emergency generator that will start automatically and supply limited power. This includes supplying limited lighting (usually 50%), power to an external fire pump, steering gear, navigation lights, and radio equipment.

Monitoring of the boundaries should continue until three consecutive drops in temperature of the machinery space, before any attempt to enter. This can take 24 hours, to be sure it is safe to re-enter.

This gives you time to make sure your firefighters are rested and in a good state. This includes getting a plan for re-entry in a safe manner, and sorting out your logistics. I.E, All breathing apparatus fully charged, enough hoses, considering that entry ladders may have melted or distorted, lack of lighting, etc.

Re-entry. There must be enough length of fire hose to enable the team to reach the furthest reaches of the compartment in case of a flare up. If not you might have made matters worse.

The happy ending: You have recovered the machinery space.


Maybe I’ll write a post of the trials and tribulations of attending the firefighting and damage control course at HMS Phoenix.

Sleep well and don’t have nightmares as you cruise the seven seas. (I’m still alive after 43 years. A great many of those years as Officer in Charge of the Fire and repair party, on a number of ships).

Just in case they’ve started early


Alle gesprekke oor die internet en e-posse kan aangeteken word as die regering beplan om 'n massiewe uitbreiding in toesig.

Die koalisie is herstigting van Arbeid se noodlottig skema om na Snoop op alle Britse burgers aanlyn - ten spyte van die feit dat dit teengestaan ​​is deur liberale en konserwatiewe terwyl hy in die opposisie.

Internet diensverskaffers sal gevra word om rekords te hou van alle e-pos boodskappe op die sosiale netwerk-webwerwe en gesprekke oor Skype.

Die inhoud van die oproepe of boodskappe sal aangeteken word, maar die owerhede sal hê om 'n hofbevel te verkry om as hulle wil om te luister of die inhoud te lees.

Maar, sal die polisie en sekuriteit in staat wees om die besonderhede van wat die kommunikasie tussen en watter tyd dit plaasvind sonder 'n hofbevel te eis.

For an explanation why this is written in a foreign language go HERE


Sunday 1 April 2012

Gotta Hole

A TFE public service broadcast.

Did that help?