Category Archives: Technology

Hybrid Cars ~ What’s the Point?

save the planet and buy a car with two engines

under the hood of an F-150 hybrid

It all starts with the acceptance of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change ~ or for the less scientifically minded; man-made global warming.  In fact it doesn’t, it really begins with car-hating Americans like Ralph Nader, and opportunistic fellow travelers like Al Gore.  Californians, in particular, like the idea of there being less cars, and less polluting cars on their freeways.  The snag is, in the USA you can’t go anywhere without driving there.  (Unless you fly ~ and nobody would be insane enough to suggest a hybrid Boeing 757.)

So, smarter minds than the green, anti-car activists tried to come up with a solution.  The first go-around were all-electric vehicles such as the Tesla, and apart from the hugely polluting batteries, that idea has some merit.  Bigger engines, like a nuclear power plant, are more efficient than the smaller gas engines in the average Ford.  The snag is, electric cars are useless; expensive, short ranged, and difficult to recharge, (time and place).

The solution to that one is to make the car recharge itself.  We add an electric motor and batteries to an ‘ordinary’ petrol powered vehicle ~ and we have the New Bright Hope, the HYBRID.  FFS!

Hybrid technologies are not new; they’ve been around for over a century.  Petrol-electric, diesel-electric, even nuclear steam-turbine electric…..  And they are good solutions for pressing engineering problems.  But hybrid technologies are in no way ‘green’.  In fact, hybrid technologies for mass-market road vehicles are far more polluting than just buying a small petrol-powered car.

Buy a hybrid and all you’ve done is buy a power-station on wheels.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

all electric Tesla

mostly powered by fossil fuels

Geordies and Angels

I could not have made it this far
if there had not been angels along the way

just off the route of the A1, just outside of Gateshead in the North East of England, is the largest sculpture in England

the Angel of the North

The statue was built at a steel fabrication works in my town

Installed in 1998, the thing is 66 feet tall with a wingspan of 177 feet

which is bigger than a Boeing 757

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalknet

probably the most viewed sculpture in the world

Songs on Saturday ~ The Chain

there’s nothing wrong with the car, except that it’s on fire

Back in the great days of motor racing, before it became a procession of ugly electric slot cars, the iconic commentator and pundit on the BBC was a chap called Murray Walker ~ famous for getting it all wrong at the best time.  The music for the opening credits for the Grand Prix show on TV was The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.

This is the short version.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Murray Walker passed away about a year ago. He loved this lotus 72 as driven by Emerson Fittipaldi

 

 

Food on Friday ~ Aphrodite’s Herbalist

herbs demonstrate the earth’s nurturing love

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there is a love called the herbs

which knows seasons and extraction

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which chooses and uses through filtration

the pungent perfume of timed infusion

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aromatic alchemical warmed fluids

medicinal herbs mystical magical uses

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richly potent oils from maceration

concentrated to potions by decoction

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glistening alcoholic secret distillation

Aphrodisiac attention to her golden skin

sensual memories of myriad loves

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

sage is a psychotropic aphrodisiac

sensual women should beware

its dreams of desire

The Artisan and the Lady

tradesmen are not good at listening

‘it’s finished…..’

Yet again I’ve been faced with examples of men who work with their hands treating female customers badly.  I’m never surprised when I hear that some garage mechanic hasn’t done whatever it was a woman has asked them to fix on her car.  Nor am I shocked if a car shop has done something very badly, half a job, and then charged their lady customer three times the going rate for a proper job.

I have heard tales of half-assed plumbers totally flooding a female friend’s home, making the place uninhabitable for months.  I’ve seen electrical work done so badly that a woman was lucky not to have her home burn down around her, and building work that was an utter joke.  The same goes for bathroom and kitchen fitters, gardeners, roofers…..  all of them do shoddy work for women and then overcharge them for it.

The thing is that the average tradesman learns a trade, (if you’re lucky), but never learns interpersonal skills ~ they do not listen.  Most tradesmen are very bad at their jobs ~ face it, most car mechanics are only car mechanics because it’s a step up from flipping burgers.  Almost all tradesmen learn how to do one thing, and never learn anything else.  In general, men who work with their hands are lazy, goof off at every opportunity, are sexist, misogynistic, and lecherous.  Add in to the mix that many so called ‘tradesmen’ are immigrant casual day labourers, who have never actually learned a trade, and you have a recipe for disaster for any woman who wants anything fixed, serviced, repaired, fettled, or built.

All women should be suspicious of mechanics, plumbers, electricians, roofers, gardeners, builders, kitchen and bathroom fitters…..  and you should never, ever leave them alone in your home, not for an instant.  Always ask to see their appropriate qualifications, on paper, there are trade associations for every single damn trade.  For example; here every gas fitter is obliged to be ‘Gas Safe Registered’ and show their customers their registration number.  Never ever employ a tradesman or use a garage based solely on the recommendation of a friend ~ look them up on the internet.  Always thoroughly check their work, or better still get a competent male friend to check their work before handing over any money.  Better than that, learn some basic trade skills yourself.

Some say that they trust their gardener / plumber / electrician / car mechanic.  And that it’s impolite to think they might have done a shoddy job.  All I know is that I don’t trust tradesmen, and I’m a very competent guy.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this isn’t finished

 

Monochrome Monday ~ Winter 1962 – 1963

when I was a kid it was a trek to go to the toilet across the yard

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the sea froze

Monochrome Monday ~ Aircraft

abandoned areoplanes have haunting pasts

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk

never try to land a heavy aircraft on a black beach

I Have a Problem

sometimes, even I can’t fix everything

somewhere in there is a busted part

Well, I failed at repairing my heating / hot water system.  The part I ordered and fitted yesterday rectified one fault, but obviously it wasn’t the main problem.  There’s now a lot of pretty lights working on the gas boiler’s control panel, but the important indicator light, the one that says the gas is lit, remains obstinately dark.

I could investigate further and try another fix, but I won’t do that for three very important reasons;

  1. I don’t have the special tools one needs to work on gas appliances.  Crucially these special tools include a gas leak detector.  Although gas is actually odorless, a stenching agent is added so one can smell a very bad gas leak.  But a leak small enough to be undetectable by human olfactory senses can still be extremely dangerous.
  2. I do not have easy access to the parts I might need to undertake a repair.
  3. Legally, all gas work should only ever be carried out by an appropriately qualified engineer.  In the UK that means you have to on the Gas Safe Register, and renew your qualification every year.  I haven’t been a qualified gas engineer for 15 years or so.

Today I’ll find a properly qualified engineer who is working during this current draconian lockdown, and make an appointment to have someone come and look at my lack of heating and hot water problem.

Actually, wanting to have fixed this gas boiler problem myself is not a money issue, it’s more that I don’t like strangers in the garret, and neither does Marmaduke.

Failing to repair something is a huge blow to my self-esteem.  But needs must when the Devil drives.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

good old Marmaduke

he’s all ready to help

 

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Supertramp

it never rains but it absolutely chucks it down

Excuse the misquoted homily, but here in the north of England, saying that it’s pouring with rain is like a girl saying that she’s slightly pregnant.  So from Supertramp we have It’s Raining Again, which it is.  But it’s not raining my life,  While I may have lost a friend, I have gained an new and much nicer friend.

I’ve driven a hell of a lot of I-15, from Southern California up into Wyoming.

I’m a fighter.  Knock me down and I’ll just get up again.

Please listen with a smile on your face.

Try not to get very wet.

Unless you like that.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the old man can’t snore through the racket of raindrops on the roof

COVID Vaccines

no vaccine is a magic bullet

All over the media is the ‘good news’ that there will soon be an effective and properly tested vaccination against the coronavirus that will give up to 90% protection against becoming ill.  It won’t stop anyone from catching the virus, but if you do catch it, then you shouldn’t get very sick because your body already has already been trained to recogise and combat COVID-19.

And the science on vaccines is settled ~ they are both safe and effective.  Actually no.  Anyone who says that; ‘the science is settled’ knows dick-all about science.  Science is never finished, settled, nor complete.  As our knowledge expands and progresses so good scientists go back and take another look at old truths, maxims, and proofs.  Sometimes they discover things that startle and frighten them.  To give you an easy example; Pythagoras Theorem is mostly wrong ~ it only works all the time if the Earth is flat.

So, when the pharmaceutical industry, doctors, the government, and the media tell you that vaccines are safe, and the new coronavirus vaccine is completely safe and 90% effective, do you actually trust them?  Do you trust drugs giant Pfizer, (who also make Viagra), who are set to make billions of $ from their new vaccine?  Do you trust the people who might give you the couple of jabs you will need to have kept the vaccine at an even 70 degrees below zero?  As it goes I trust none of the above.

Vaccination is the holy grail of medicine, and anyone who challenges its safety will be ignored, denigrated, ridiculed, and howled down.  For the medical professions, vaccination is power, and power corrupts.

One reason that vaccines are unsafe is that they have stuff in them other than an attenuated version of the virus, because if that’s all you got the vaccine wouldn’t work at all.  So vaccines have accelerators, (adjuvants), in them to strengthen the body’s response to the vaccine.  Until quite recently mercury was used, now it’s mostly aluminium.  These adjuvents are dangerous.

What vaccines are supposed to do are produce immune responses in appropriate cells.  Vaccines affect every cell in your body, altering your DNA / RNA ~ and not always in a good way.  There are things called telomeres on the ends of your chromosomes, and vaccines shorten these telomeres.  So what?  When your cells’ telmomeres are too short, you die.

This is a short post about a long and complicated topic. If you want to know more research it, but not on Google ~ the people involved with Google are set to make further fortunes from the coronavirus vaccines.

Personally, I will be last in line to be vaccinated against anything ~ the coronavirus especially.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there’s a reason for the ‘mad scientist’ paradigm

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