WTW

Short for What Three words. A very interesting app, which divides the whole planet into 3 meter squares. so you can find places in the most remote areas, even on mountains, forest or deserts. Quite not sure what would happen if for example an earth quake would open gaps and enlarge the Earth’s circumference. Would extra squares be created automatically?

Very remote

There is already research available to show that the earths’ crust is warping due to glaziers melting.

London is full of it – aeroplanes

I sat at my local playground yesterday and was realising that up above in the sky there were many aeroplanes ascending and descending. By the size of the planes and direction, I could determine which ones came from London City airport and could probably guess, which ones came and went to Gatwick or Heathrow. Quite a lot of aeroplanes went overhead. In fact I think that the whole of London now has become a fly zone as there are several airports in and around London.

Looking overhead at times I could see 2 planes crossing paths and I started to think what would I do if I saw a crash overhead. Luckily the crossing paths were from planes who were above and underneath each other and not on the same height.

Yet it startles me to think that there would be even more air traffic above and that with an increase in volume also the risk of accident would increase with it. I can only compliment Boris Johnson for his strict opposition on a third runway for Heathrow.

The row on air traffic continue but is it not possible to ask people to change their commuting and communication habits rather than built more and more airports?

I saw only 1 helicopter in the space of 2 hours but plenty of very large passenger air planes that seem to be carrying people rather than goods. Why do people have to fly around so much and how can we avoid it. Of course there are attempts to build green planes but still the volume of traffic means that more and constant alertness to avoid collisions is needed and that is the more immediate serious danger that always arises through high volume traffic, we see it on our roads.

I feel I am entitled to be concerned because as a resident in East London I am directly underneath the fly path of several airports.

UK in breach of EU pollution rules since 2005

It of course does put the accusation of the Greens, during the last mayoral elections, in which they accused Boris of not caring for families, into a realistic context. Reading that the UK does not care about pollution levels, which causes a big health issue, hurts. I quote from the article “There are no air quality actions for Defra or the Department for Transport in their departmental business plans,”  and few government departments “appear to understand the importance of the issue”.

What is happening is that a few cycle lanes have been built, which are dangerous and already cost lives because recently 2 cyclists got killed within a week on those so-called safe cycling lanes in Bow.

The whole traffic infra-structure is not changing at all. The roads are made for cars and the congestion is still the same. I would not want to walk or jog near a busy road in London, which is chock-a-block with cars and lorries at most hours of the day.

The rule that parents should walk their kids to school is not enforced at all. Parents are allowed to park illegally outside of schools to drop off their children. Just in my locality cars are parked illegally every time there is a big event in York Hall. Traffic wardens could make a fortune for the borough if they towed away and ticketed all the illegally parked cars and so discourage them from coming on roads to the venue, but they don’t because if they come by car they come to York Hall.

There is no effort to effectively reduce car traffic in London at all.

It would be much better if traffic would change by reducing the amount of road space for cars and increasing cycle lanes to make them wider, therefore squeezing out car traffic because there is no proper indication that environmentally friendly cars are to be sold en mass.

Of course changing the road traffic structure would cost major investment and that is money the government doesn’t want to spend as cycling traffic doesn’t make much money and politicians do want their wages from tax payers. Politicians are the most selfish breed of employee I know.

Dealing with the unexpected

I think what this latest Norwegian attack shows is that our security forces worldwide are unable to deal with the unexpected. For that purpose the list of  deadly shootings worldwide is not complete enough but it shows that none of those incidents were even remotely expected.  But if you think that in Afghanistan an Al Qaeda operative worked as chief Security Guard for an Afghanistan government official shows that world-wide   intelligence lacks certain skills.

I wonder whether the selection processes to employ people are good enough or not and whether the monitoring of those who are in work is even in existence.

There is now a strong chance that the freedom of movement we all enjoy might become restricted because what could prevent such an incident occurring is if people had to proof where they are travelling via some documentation but that reminds us all of the restrictions under the Hitler era.

Realistically speaking I think that such incidences are on the increase rather than decrease simply because we are living in an increasingly corrupt society. Selection for top jobs is very much dependant on whom you know and if you find approval of those already in jobs and especially of those already in top jobs. But that is what always drove forward human evolution and especially social evolution, that is why whole cultures vanished from the face of this earth it is because their selection processes became stagnant, failed to select the best for the posts, were unable to adapt to changing circumstances and so on.

Here in the UK David Cameron wants to buck the trend and adapt military operation to suit the current individualistic climate and operational style of single cells or individuals. That is all very good but that might actually backfire because it spreads the use of weapons more widely and allows further individualistic activity of lone gunmen, whatever side they happen to be on.

Recent examples of computer hacking are the best example of how the best in the field are excluded from work and manage to show that the work of those who are employed to do the jobs is inadequate. All the law can do is punish those who can do it but who are not authorised to do it.

That is the whole problem these day that the ones who are in jobs might not be the best ones to be in them and that produces so many that feel left out from opportunities and likely to rebel in one way or another.

What this particular Norwegian tragedy teaches us is never trust anybody just because they wear a uniform. Yet those who are in the uniform are very likely to declare the wrong persons seucrity risks whilst others can go on rampages undetected until it is too late.

How safe is London Transport?

We heard a lot about how unruly kids can be on buses or generally on their way from or to school If children on public transport, mainly buses was equipped with police officers or community safety enforcement personnel.

Looking at the transport situation out of school hours and getting into the personal travel sphere things do not look so good for vulnerable passengers on London transport vehicles. The Underground is at best a tin of sardines in busy times and can also be an oven, turning you into a cooked sardine in a tin, by the time you arrive at your destination.

And with children or disabled and even the elderly travelling on the underground can be frightening and there should be special provision for people travelling with small children. For example children cannot stand in the middle of isles of trains  and certainly passengers are not always willing to give up a seat for a child, so that it cannot fall. It is not separatist to make a car / compartment available for travelling families or children so that they can travel in adequate circumstances and not be exposed to drunk or impatient or badly behaved fellow passengers, which can make travelling with a child a frightening experience.

I can also very well imagine that it must be a nightmare for disabled travellers to get into a train compartment and cannot understand why there is not a specially dedicated compartment for wheel chair users on London underground.

If anything then children are most likely to learn a careless attitude if they have to wedged into a train compartment full of ignorant fellow travellers. If children are treated with respect,  they will learn to respect others when they get older.  If children get acquainted to the elbow attitude whilst young, they will elbow themselves to get a space on a train at a later stage in their lives.

Commuting

Statue dedicated to the traveller in Oviedo, Spain

Statue dedicated to the traveller in Oviedo, Spain

If this “parking tax”as proposed by Sadiq Khan, Labour’s new minister for transport, as reported by the Press Association and picked up from Yahoo News, gets the go ahead, we can look forward to the re-structuring of traffic soon unless the car industry comes up with cars that are so environmentally friendly and cheaper to run that the amount of an eventual £350 per year of parking tax could be recouped by the users.

Initially the “parking tax”is scheduled to start off with £185 per year, to be paid by companies that provide car parking spaces for employees. This scheme is to be tested by Nottingham City Council. Is it coincidence that we get the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham scenario again? But really Sadiq Khan should be on the side of Robin Hood shouldn’t he, as Labour Party minister who opposes extradition treaties with the US!

What are the real motives for this new tax grabbing incentive? Could it be that Mr Khan is genuinely concerned about the environment and wants to discourage use of the car to curb omissions or does Mr Khan think that the use of car parking spaces take away from potential housing being built?

I always thought that companies could use their property any way they liked but that will now be challenged by this new initiative of the Labour Party.

On speculation what such a new tax would create we first of all have to look at the fundamental change of rights of owning property as the business owner will be told you can do anything that is not environmentally and health detrimental and you cannot provide car parking spaces for employees unless you pay us a tax on it.

For traffic we get the gist is that the revenue created shall be used for a tram system. Not too bad a motive I suppose but as of now traffic – and I speak as a resident of London – is already having problems sharing the thoroughfares sensibly and happily between buses, cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

Our roads are set up to allow for cars and buses in the middle, the sides are reserved for pedestrians but increasingly shared by cyclists who do not want to keep to the roads. We do have an “on your bike” campaign going on as well and I just wonder whether the whole traffic infrastructure should be re-thought to allow more driving space dedicated to cycles, whether the direction of policies is going to be, ban cars from the roads, unless they are public transport and only allow company vehicles or otherwise pedestrians, trams, buses and cycles on the thoroughfares or should we strive for battery driven cars that need to be parked somewhere at the cost of parking tax.

Not an easy decision but having taken to foot and public transport my point of view is that I miss clarity on national policy about transport issues, this also being stirred up even more by the current dispute over rail franchising and profitability of the rail network.

We get the keep to the time tables movement who do not understand that unless you have roads like in American cities, wide and not narrow as in London’s Bank area, we cannot keep to regular times, that also put pressure onto the argument and caused time displays of buses predicted arrival times, which are not reliable as I could see.

We get the back on your bikers who cause cyclists to use pavements as cycling routes.

And there are many more transport initiatives and all those taken together, cause our local environments to be riddled with transport thoroughfares of one sort or another. If things go on like this we have to invent floating houses so we can escape the constant flow of traffic in front of our doors or virtual schools so our children avoid being run over by bikes on the way to and from school.

The emphasis of our lives is not where we live anymore, our homes are not the centre of our lives any longer and business activity goes on around it, our homes are mere containers from which we emerge to go somewhere else to work , shop or holiday and hence all our homes are surrounded by some sort of constant traffic. With all those schemes traffic tends to increase rather than decrease and our local economies nonviable with fast food outlets becoming the norm for social gathering rather than pubs, who would also find the parking tax unaffordable. With fast food outlets the gathering can take place in the street, hence we see so many congregating around them at night time.

We should examine what is the idea of a home and how many hours we spend out of it and live out of suitcases, and take-away cartons. Surely and originally a home was a permanent place to live and work activities took place around the home either by rural production or economic activity but this is apparently no longer so, and since we have created the travelling citizen, government have become viable institutions but without it, they could not fatten their MP’s to the extend they do now.

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