every snowflake is the last of the great individualists
In English, there’s often a new meaning for an old word, it happens every day. Yet, never in my long and interesting life have I seen such a meteoric rise of an all-purpose insult created out of a familiar word, in the way that Snowflake has instantly appeared everywhere. I like snowflakes, real snowflakes that is.
To be clear, a snowflake usually refers to; often a younger person, prone to taking offence, emotionally vulnerable, unable to cope with views that challenge their own, easily distressed when met with rejection, incapable of seeing an opposing point of view, unable to hold a cogent argument, and liable to pointlessly futile demonstrations of anger. In my time I’ve met a hell of a lot of people like that.
Back in the day we had a few other words for those of the snowflake ilk; wazzock, prat, jessie, dil, and many more that are considered extremely politically incorrect today. All in all I quite like snowflake. There, there, don’t cry.
Older snowflakes do exist; for example our own Archbishop of Canterbury, who used a major speech to call President Trump, (and almost everyone else), a Fascist. Oh! Do get a grip Welby. Then there’s loathsome Ken Loach, who used the BAFTA awards ceremony to say the that current UK Government is callous, brutal, and disgraceful. Champagne Socialist is a good insult to Loach the Roach. And, my award for Old Snowflake of the Year goes to that limousine liberal ~ Meryl Streep. In a speech at a New York Gala, mad Meryl seemed to equate President Trump with Hitler, and intimated that Mr. Trump was likely to start a nuclear war. No dear, that was your beloved JFK in 1962. It’s always nice to see the old Buffs again.
When they are not using awards ceremonies to give us unopposed foul-mouthed tirades, or shouting down opponents, or holding pointless marches, snowflakes have their own interesting range of insults. My own political views could easily get me labeled as an old-fashioned, misogynist, racist, war-mongering, climate change denier, and supporter of populist politics. I’ll admit to a couple of those.
My views are mine, and mine alone. Other than I will not usually break the law, I will not be told what to do, and I will not be told what to think. My views are based on things like a lifetime’s study of; hard science, engineering, geography, geology, history, finance, literature, current affairs… My views do not come pre-packaged from the pages of the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the New Statesman, or even the BBC.
Providing that you are polite, I will take care to hear your opinions, and the opinions of anyone else for that matter ~ your opinions tell me many things about you, and that’s interesting. But that’s about as far as it goes. If you think the Earth is flat, the Moon is made of green cheese, and that man-made carbon dioxide is destroying the planet, then that’s interesting too. Those views will tell me that your opinions are mostly misguided, that you don’t know much hard science, and that you need to widen your circle of friends. Have a nice day.
If you regularly use social media like twitter and Facebook, then that tells me a lot about you too. It tells me that your brain is slowly turning to mouldy oatmeal, that you have a lot of ‘friends’ you’ve never actually met, and that you really don’t know anything that’s worth listening to. (Or, maybe you still do, but soon you won’t.) By demographic definition, all regular users of twitter and Facebook are soft snowflakes.
Generally, I find a lot of sound sense in most blogs I read. It takes time and effort to write a decent blog post. It takes a lot of time, effort, and a little money, to maintain a regular, high-quality blog. Any wazzock can write 140 badly worded characters and stick it on twitter. Maybe President Trump is a snowflake too? Anyhow, where I come from trump is just another word for fart.
these views are mine and mine alone
Should You Make Your Next Car A Diesel?
The first thing I need to tell you is that, contrary to everything Governments, Left Leaning Liberal Media, The Green Lobby, and exponents of Man-Made Global Warming have been saying for years, diesel cars are no cleaner and no better for the environment than petrol, (gasoline), engined vehicles. Like so-called renewable energy, all these green lunatics are costing us the Earth banging on about various means of powering a vehicle. Electric cars are not green, the electricity has to come from somewhere.
There is a huge difference between the manufacturer’s official pollution figures, and the amount of nasty stuff diesel cars chuff out in the real world. Volkswagen, (VW), have just reached an agreement to pay $4.3 billion in fines after fiddling the fuel consumption and pollution figures of its vehicles ~ and that’s after agreeing a $14.7 billion settlement to recompense aggrieved VW diesel owners in the USA. In the United Kingdom VW diesel owners are looking for a settlement of £3,000 each for the German car maker’s lies. Respectable scientists even say that diesel cars produce ten times more pollutants than buses and trucks. I don’t believe that either.
Jumping on the anti-diesel bandwagon the mayors of four major cities; Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris have announced that diesel cars will be banned from entering their towns from 2025. Who gives a damn? These cities are so bad to drive in that you’d have to be mad to take your car into the centre, and come 2025 it can only be worse than today. Banning diesels won’t make these urban areas any better, the exhaust from petrol engines is just as ruinous to your health.
One should never believe anything car manufacturers are car salesmen tell you, because they always lie about everything. For example, in the real world most cars use twice as much fuel as the car makers’ own fuel consumption figures, and some bad and aggressive drivers get terrible fuel consumption. It’s obvious that the more fuel you use, the more pollution you create. And bad, aggressive drivers often end up in accidents, which also create a lot of pollution, and death. Death in car accidents is bad.
However, diesel / compression ignition cars have two major advantages over an exactly comparable car powered by an exactly comparable petrol, (gasoline), engine. Firstly, you get about 50% more miles to the gallon from a diesel engine. Secondly, properly looked after a diesel engine should last for twice as long as the equivalent petrol engine. Longevity is good for the environment as the real pollution of any car should be measured over its dust to dust lifespan.
Right now diesel fuel costs just a few pence / cents more than the same amount of petrol / gasoline. However, you get far more miles from a gallon of diesel than you do from a gallon of petrol / gasoline. Take a new Kia Sportage as an example.
- Petrol / Gasoline 37 miles per gallon (Imperial)
- Diesel 61 miles per gallon (Imperial)
The diesel engined car is perhaps 5% more expensive to buy than the petrol car, and perhaps it’s 5% slower, but one gets about 165% of the mileage from each tank of fuel. Diesels are a lot more fuel efficient than petrol cars. (Don’t actually believe the total fuel consumption figures, most drivers won’t get that in the real world.) So, if you are a higher mileage driver, (more than 6,000 miles a year), or you want to keep your car a long, long time, (100,000 miles plus), then a diesel makes a lot of sense. And, there is always the likelihood that a diesel car will depreciate slightly slower than its petrol engined equivalent, (although with all the controversy over diesel cars this may be a good time to pick up a used bargain).
Except in terms of extreme speed and acceleration there is nothing wrong with the performance of modern diesel-engined cars ~ in fact Audi, (another German manufacturer), has won at Le Mans and other endurance races with a diesel racing car. Bentley’s new diesel SUV, the Bentayga will go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and on to 187 mph, mind you, you will pay in excess of £160,000 for the privilege.
So, the bottom line is, would I buy a diesel car? And the answer is maybe. If I expected to do a hell of a lot of miles, take transcontinental road trips, and keep the car a long time, then a diesel wins hands down. But then I don’t live in California smog all the time, and I don’t care one jot about man-made global warming, or inner city pollution.
I would buy a classic SAAB diesel convertible in a New York Second.
these opinions are mine,
and mine alone
Amidst the latest brouhaha and persecution of ‘climate change deniers’ there’s one good reason I can’t get at all excited about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, (man-made global warming), and ‘green energy’. The fact is that the Northern Hemisphere is still in the last hurrah of the last ice age.
Some 10,500 years ago, (the blink of an eye in cosmic and geological time), most of the people on Earth lived in Africa because everywhere else was too damn cold. In fact, the last ice age hasn’t yet really ended, so any time in the next few hundred or few thousand years Europe, North America, and Northern Asia could be again covered by sheets of ice miles thick.
Much of the geology of these continents was structured by ice ~the Great Lakes in North America were formed 20,000 years ago as a result of the last period of glaciation. Where I live now was covered by a sheet of ice three miles thick only 10,000 years ago ~ and the ice reached as far south in England as where London is now. As I said 10,000 years is but the blink of an eye in terms of geology and the life-cycle of our sun and the planets.
Agriculture has only existed in England for 6,000 years, because before that it was too cold, so Mesolithic Man lived by hunting. Up until 6,200 years ago, so much of the seas’ waters were locked up in ice on the land that you could walk from what is now Germany to England, without getting your feet wet ~ over a stretch of dry land called Doggerland. Where the English Channel is now used to be part of what is now called the River Rhine.
Ice Ages have come and gone over the last 2.4 billion years, starting with Snowball Earth and the Lower Huronian Ice Age. It is thought that Ice Ages are caused by changes in the Earth’s orbit and the amount by which our planet tilts. Typically, a period of extreme glaciation could happen about every 100,000 years or so, (but can last for up to 200 or 300 million years.) The last one has only being running, (on and off), for around 100 million years. The Earth is now in an interglacial period, so we have a lot more worries over freezing to death than we have over global warming.
May I suggest that you don’t worry too much about global warming, but make certain you know how to cope with a hell of a lot of snow and ice.