Friday, 21 July 2017

Severn For Free

743 is a prime number.  Severn for free is what motorists will get to cross in 2018.

2018 is not a prime number.

I have driven across the Severn Bridge several times over the years but never paid the toll - because every time I've done it, I've travelled W to E.
That's West to East

or Wales to England - either apply - spooky eh?

You only have to pay the toll if you are travelling into Wales.  English people say you have to pay to get into Wales.  Welsh people say you have to pay to get out of England.

The exception is Welsh comedian Rob Brydon who says that once you pay to get into Wales, all of the rides are free.

Towards the end of next year, he won't be able to use that joke any more.

Because they are going to start charging for the rides.

Actually, they are scrapping the tolls.  The BBC report it here.  Hopefully good news for the Welsh economy.  But not the people who staff the toll booths.

Meanwhile, in Wales, a student (presumably Chinese although it doesn't actually say so here) has left his Citroen on an unfortunate couple's drive while he's flown out there for a bit.
He's left them the car and a cactus to look after.

There's no keys.  They can't move it.  They are also concerned that it's parked over a manhole - not sure that is much of a problem - I can't recall ever needing to get at the manhole on my drive.

He has promised to bring them back a present.  It had better be a good one or they should tell him where to stuff it.  Or the cactus.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Slippery Road Ahead

There's something fishy in the state of Oregon.
 
And it's all over the road.
 
A number of hagfish - aka slime eels - because they have a habit of producing lots of the stuff when stressed - have been involved in a road accident.  According to the Police, the driver, Salvatore Tragale, who is not a hagfish, approached roadworks and tried to stop.  One container flew off the truck bed and into the southbound lane, while the other containers spilled onto the highway.  The flying container hit one vehicle which then caused it and four other vehicles to be pushed into each other. There were no serious injuries to the humans involved.  Not too sure of the fate of the fish but their prospects were not good anyway as they were en route to becoming South Korean meals. 
The story is here - I found it on the Australian ABC News site although plenty of other news outlets closer to Oregon also had it.
 
As for Salvatore - e'll have to be more careful next time.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Infernal Combustion Engine

The new Honda Civic looks pretty spectacular:
That is going by Editor-in-Chief of Top Gear Mag, Charlie Turner's, comment that "...our cover story, where the battle for the hot-hatch heartland continues with the arrival of the fifth-generation Civic Type-R"
 
Ah, of course - it's the Type-R - that explains the spoiler.
 
Or maybe, while us subscribers to this fine magazine get our own covers, maybe we should also get our own welcome message from Mr.Turner.
 
In case you're wondering, that's an Aston-Martin Valkyrie not a Honda Civic.
 
Meanwhile, on Page 20 of the mag, we learn that Volvo's high-performance division, Polestar, will now be exclusively building electric cars.  Which is a shame.  But it also fits in with the big Volvo news from last week - Carmaker Volvo has said all new models will have an electric motor from 2019.
 
They were actually quite clever with their wording there.
 
My own car for example has several electric motors - at least one in each door.
 
They got the headlines though.  It plans to launch five fully electric models between 2019 and 2021 and a range of hybrid models.  But it will still be manufacturing earlier models that have only combustion engines.  And those hybrids will still have some carbon being ignited - so it is nothing more than an indication of the direction that the car industry is moving in.
 
Further illustrated by the story a day later that France is set to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.  No indication of what happens to internally combustion engined cars bought in France in December 2039 though - or those bought over the national borders that may get driven in to France.
 
I suppose they still have 22 and a half years to fine-tune the rules...
 
...and to come to some sort of agreement in Paris.  Probably not involving this foolish fossil...
who may well be personally adding to the world's fossil fuel stocks by then.