The towns of Workington and Cockermouth are now effectively isolated because all the bridges are down, washed away in the floods.
However, they are ONLY bridges, and bridges can be made and rebuilt. The problem is the lack of communications for the towns and surrounding villages, which affects everything, not least the provision of food.
But still that’s no problem for a creative, well-fed and well-organised, industrialised country like ourselves. Is it?
By the use of their modern replacement, the Mabey Logistic Support Bridge, the towns of Cockermouth and Workington should all be fully connected by next Monday with Bailey Bridges, if our government and the people employed to plan for disasters do their jobs properly!
Places like Bosnia, Iraq, Germany – anywhere that’s had it’s infrastructure blitzed by warfare or natural disaster, all have long-lasting evidence of the effectiveness of these things.
The bridges can span 200m, take a 60T tank and only take 4-6 days to make!
..should be the title of this post. Having lived in the South-West for nearly quarter of a century, it’s come as a complete shock to me to discover that my favourite vacuum cleaner (if there is such a thing, I’m now defining it here!) is little old Henry, and it’s made about 20 miles from here in Bridgwater!
Henry Mk 1 (or 2 possibly)
I first bought one in 1986 when the babies started arriving. It lasted, and lasted and lasted. It had a 1kW motor, little dinky wheels and a smile. It could suck the carpet off the floor. Below, is a really daft video of someone vacuuming with one from that era.. ?? (youtube never ceases to amaze me)
When the motor & fan finally packed in by wearing so much that there was hardly any suck, we got a Dyson Animal. What a mistake that was. No suck and yes, there was a filter that needed cleaning perpetually under a running tap and then took ages to dry… When it worked, it didn’t lose suction, just like the advert said – but there again, it never had much in the first place!
The Henry lasted over 15 years – the Dyson we left out on the pavement after 18 months in the hope that someone would swipe it – which they did. I expect they thought they were getting a bargain.
In 2003 I got a little yellow Miele which worked very well for me but was chucked out by Jillian as she didn’t like it, after a year or so. However, the benefit was that she walked in with a…
This has worked fine for 3 years but now needs a replacement head. Fortunately, this is no problem as the factory, I’ve just found out, is down the road in Chard.
Chard – the Birthplace of Powered Flight
You see, all I thought Chard was famous for was it’s lace and for being the site of the world’s first powered, man-carrying aeroplane flight…
It was steam powered(!!) and launched inside a disused lace mill down a guide wire. This was remarkably similar to the Wright’s Flyer which was launched down a guide rail to get up speed in a similar way.
The museum’s article has different information to mine which I’ve got from various sources. My take is that it wasn’t Stringfellow who did the flight, but his manservant!
Upon landing, his manservant refused to go in the machine again, even when offered a five pound note – a lot of money in 1848!
Vacuum Cleaner beyond Excellence!
Well now I’ve found that Chard is famous for something much more practical than a history lesson, and it’s a real innovative success story (see company history here) employing 700 local people.
And now, I’ve had a bizarre request from my daughter to get her a Henry for her birthday present. Women are weird. But I’m considering it because of her asthma. ;-)
Bad Joke Alert
Back in 1987, the Piper Alpha oil platform exploded in the North Sea, killing many men, mostly in horrible ways. In the office where I worked, the black humour started up immediately. There are two endings to the question;
Q. Where do oil rig workers go on holiday?
A. Burnham on Sea
Sorry about that. Fortunately, my mind has forgotten the even worse jokes surrounding the Lockerbie bombing only six months later. That was one bad office.
Over the past week, behind the scenes, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been progressively locking down an ISP, until finally on the 6th of June, it got the plug pulled. See news item here: US cuts off ‘criminal’ net firm
Pricewert, the umbrella for firms such as 3FN.net & APS Telecom is charged with running and/or turning a blind eye to botnets, child porn, bestiality, spam rings and all the other shite that sticks to the sole of your shoe.
Amazingly, a ‘representative’, Max Christopher, thinks that he’s being victimised because he’s Ukrainian! (ees eet cos ahz black?) Er, no. He’s being victimised because of a long history of shite.
The FTC charge sheets are extremely interesting, although lengthy, reading. Someone from Max’s office was caught arranging a botnet in an ICQ channel over an extended period. “No problem” was his words, although “it may take some time” were some others.
An intesting take, for me, is to found when checking up on Webhosting performance. The Webhosting review sites are a notorious haven of self-promotion and fibs which has made it very difficult for me to decide on a decent webhost – my current one has too many dropouts for my liking. Check this review of 3FN.net. There are two extremely positive reviews from somone called Yanski at email@example.com and another from firstname.lastname@example.org One from email@example.com gives a more realistic review especuially after reading about attacks and portscans on other sites! Like I’m going to believe someone with a .ru email address? Do you know how much .ru spam and comment spam shite I get?
As an example of a naff fibby review, try this one from top10dedicatedhosting.com for example. When talking about 3FN in this over-the-top puff, they say, “10 year of flawless reputation and excellent web hosting services makes the company the most reliable and respectful web hosting provider.”
Then compare and contrast to the various unpaid-for and unsolicited comments above. Need I say more?
I see it differently. I see SpamHaus, a reputable organisation helping the FTC clear the sewers. I use the Spamhaus SBL. Spamhaus’s information which they laboriously collate for anyone to use, was a key ingredient in the top judge closing the company down. The nature of botnets and elctronic information in general, is that they travel at just below the speed of light. 24 hours as FSM claim would be okay is just far too long. Spamhaus has a book on these scum. I myself, with a 15min purge in Google have found copius evidence that they’re a bag of shite. So FSM, grow up. The internet isn’t broken, just a node went down. There is no god-given right that all nodes should stay up at all times. It’s the nature of the beast, so plan for it.
I also see cheapskate FSM writing about FREE software and whingeing about not making money. The irony probably hasn’t hit them just yet.. Speaking of which, it’s just inspired my next posting called “The World’s Worst Oxymorons”!
Added 8 June 2009: As of 8 June, they’re still carrying the 3FN advert… You know, sometimes you just have to be more pro-active, spot a lemon for what it is and move on.
Now check out the full FTC file on 3FN and their compatriots. The pdfs are the actual court documents.
Following on from my earlier experiment with “The Complainerator“, I got a very similar message from myself to myself again… It’s the address I used to dig into XIN NET, whose automated systems now seem to think I really, really need some drugs from a Canadian (United Kingdom for me) Pharmacy.
This is the email message as trapped by Mailwasher Pro:
Subject: RE:ci.Doctor Cordero
If you are unable to see the images in this email, please click here. [links to perfecttyres.com/images/img/gif]
ORDER NOW WHILE QUANTITIES LAST!
[Image ignored] [links to muratdedekoyu.com/old/duyuru/images/img]
AS you can see there are four domains in this short mail.
Action on Viewing Domain in Browser
At first run, went to a Canadian Pharmacy. Second run five minutes later it redirects to thebigtoplite.cn and quickly switches to perfecttyres.com and a large Flash intro about – tyres! In IE7 tries to download snapview.ocx
New York, USA
Started as Pharmacy. Redirects to hostw212.onlinehorizons.net, suspended page now, during tests.
Firefox blocks the site. In IE7 tries to download snapview.ocx, freezes it, then IE7 tries to say it’s fishing as it tries to fire up the default address book. Opera opens the page and fires up a duff instance of Adobe Acrobat. Chrome has best response. Blocks site and provides a link to here: http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com which gives technical details.
NOD32 didn’t kick in for the download so it assumes there’s no problem code in the package. The Chrome browser info from Google says hundreds of trojans and webpages are connected to the dodgy places in the warning. Ah well!
Everything for me points to XIN NET again because of the mail content and the flash way that the redirects are done. Dot cn only shows for a split second!
Snapview.ocx is part of the MS Access snapshot viewer. This format is similar to Adobe PDF which partly explains Opera loading Acrobat Reader into place…The snapview.ocx has a shedload of Google search returns as an ActiveX vulnerability.
I’ve nabbed the content of this from Ted Penfold. My wife, has told me that she heard this lecture of Dick’s and found it and him some of the most inspiring things in her life. I came across this wonderful piece by chance, looking for some background information on Nikko, the second guy after (Nichiren) in our prayers, and repeat it here so that more people might be similarly inspired.
I’ve corrected some spellings from the original transcript here which I assume were due to OCR transcription errors, mainly. I’ve also added a few links, where appropriate, to external sources (SP)
n.b. Admonitions = Precepts = Warnings. The three terms appear in different places, but essentially mean the same thing (SP)
LECTURE ON THE TWENTY-SIX ADMONITIONS OF NIKKO SHONINby the late SGI UK General Director, Richard Causton
The following lecture by SGI UK General Director, Richard Causton, based on various lectures given by him around the U.K. and overseas during late 1992 and 1993, was inspired by SGI President Ikeda’s guidance on this subject on 24th October 1992. This lecture first appeared as a series of articles in SGI-UK’s monthly magazine, the U.K. Express. (now called Art of Living – SP)