Thinking About Self Education

I have never wanted to be an ‘expert’ or specialist in any shape or form.

All I’ve ever wanted to be is a good All Rounder.

Thus I have focused all of my self education activities.to that end.

That includes what I might read, or viewed in the many museums and art galleries which I visited over the years.

Such visits are also my idea of fun.

In my younger days I was lucky enough to pay ahort visis to such places at the British Museum, National Gallery, and National Portrait Gallery during my lunch breaks.
Plus spend my time browsing within both radical bookshops, and all the ones along the Charing Cross Road.

Spending much of my life working within libraries has also contributed towards my self education.

I also enjoy public talks on the few occasions when they occur.

Understand all of that and you will get a good idea about how my thinking goes.

Now that I’m retired I would of liked to spend some of my time in undertaking an adult education course. Though that has become much more difficult to do as many of these day courses have been cut, while I’m spending a lot of my time engaged in Campaigning activities.

Museums, Art Galleries, and Libraries are essential if we wish to create a very knowledgeable society.

Every cut to them is something which harms us all.

This needs to be said time & time & time again.

All At Play.

I’ve just spent 12 days in Denmark, and while in the country
managed to pay a visit to a toy shop.

What I do like about Danish Toy shops is that they have a large
number of model tractors and other pieces of farm equipment
for children to play with.

That I was really pleased to note upon this visit was a Lego
version of the Road Rail vehicle
.

As you may recall:
The Road Rail Vehicle was developed by the Lucas Aerospace
shop stewards
as part of an arms conversion project.

For more info on this See:
New Scientist – 20th November  1975.

What I also found of note upon my toyshop visit was a model
chainsaw
.

It might be just the thing in the countryside,
but I wonder just what any inner city kid would think about it?

Promoting Wind Turbines.

The first time I saw a wind turbine in use was some 30 years ago, and all I could think of was WOW!
I still get those WOW! moments every time I see a wind farm in
action.

The really important thing to remember about windfarms is
that it is tried & tested technology which can help us solve the
problems we all face in terms of both nukiller power and
global warming.

The other important point about the use of wind turbines,
is they form a part of a decentralised solution to much of our
economic woes.

I also believe that it is really important to promote the use of
wind turbines,
and as a part of this effort I’ve put together a brief set of
links upon the subject.

Energy4all.

This will give you links to all of the ( windfarm ) energy
co-operatives within the uk.

Wind Power Monthly.

This is worth reading.


Wind Power Works

For some very good technical info for none techies you might
like to look at the Windpower website.

Marine Current Turbines.

This company has developed some really tidal power
technology.
There is also a very long history of the use of wind power which you might like to read about.

Poul La Cour

Poul La Cour was a pioneer of wind turbines.

He was also one of the greatest technologists of the
twentieth century.

You might also like to learn about his museum.

Once you know more about his work,
and all those have followed on from him,
then you too will go WOW!

Cornwall – 42 Years Later

Cornwall 2010.

At the end of September I want on a 5 day trip to Cornwall.

Here is my diary account of what I experienced during those few days.

This was a journey in to my memory of the past,
and just how what I held to be true has changed over the years.

So with train ticket & freedom Pass I set out from home,
only to find out just how the information which was stored in my memory has been true,
or become distorted,
and just how things have changed in over 42 years.

Now read on —- Continue reading Cornwall – 42 Years Later

Design It Yourself.

I’m constantly amazed at just how bad design information can
make life really difficult for us all.

Here are just a few example which illustrate the point.

– That one constantly sees posters about the dangers of
running up & down escalates.

Yet if I ever have to use a stationary escalator then I get
vertigo.

I’m still waiting to see a sign that says
Danger! Stationary Escalator.

– That self checkout machines in supermarkets are never
designed so for those of us who want to use our own
backpack?

I’ve still got to come across one that is designed by someone
who uses ergonomic principles.

– That there is never any thought given to the needs of
pedestrians waiting for traffic lights to change.

I’ve always thought that they should include a rain shelter as
one can sometimes take an age to wait for the pedestrian light
to change green.

It would also be better if it there was some indication as to
just how long one would have to wait before crossing over to
the other opposite pedestrian way.

These lights do already operate in the Netherlands, and so
what about bring them in to use in the rest of the world?

– That those who set the standards on VDU use have never
worked out that they do not march up with the very different
distance requirements of those of us who use verifocals.

Perhaps they should try setting up a working group of those
who use verifocals in order to produce a new set of real
world VDU user standards.

– That more medications do not have a brail label as a part of
the design upon the packaging.

It’s not that difficult to do so with modern packaging
technology.

Hum – Maybe I should set myself up as a design consultant.

I couldn’t produce worse results that what some of the
current designers have left us with   – – –   Could I ?

Ely Cathedral

I recently paid a visit to Ely.

In the 22 years since I last paid a visit to the city it was
changed a lot for the better.

A major restoration of the cathedral has left it looking like
the magnificent building it is,
rather that the rather neglected place which I remember it as
being.

There is also a stained glass museum within the cathedral
which I would highly recommend anyone to visit.

What I found of particular interest is to be found within the
Lady Chapel,
which is a very fine example of Gothic architecture.

At one stage the windows of this chapel was servery damaged
and there are now just plain glass windows where formally
there would of been magnificent stained glass windows.

Should you visit the Lady Chapel then you might notice
something else which is not ‘bog standard’ in most cathedral
buildings,
for etched in to the bottom of each window is listed one of the
bodies which has help to restore the cathedral,
with with the organisonal symbol or crest placed next to
their name.

The first one of these I noted was that of
Tescos PLC.

I jest not.

The other names include:

– The Marshall of Cambridge.

– The Mercers Company.

– The Kings School.

– British Railway Board.

plus

Barclays, Midland, Lloyds, and Trustee savings banks.

Just how one can justify the inclusion of any references to these corporate bodies as a
part of such an important historical building still needs to be seen.

Cambridge Electronic Instutries also have their own window
within the lady Chapel.

Cambridge Electronic Industries
manufactures electronic interconnection items.

It is owned by Wilson-Mottaz Ltd.

I’d be interested to learn just which companies their products are sold to?

Let’s Celebrate!

There are many reason why we should all celebrate,
and many of these should become bank holidays.

Here are some of the days I would like to see become the Bank
Holidays of the Future.

– Good Atheist Values Day.

– Peace Veterans Day.

– Peace Movement Activists Day.

– Animal Rights Day
( Also known as Vegie Day ).

&

– Pedestrian Liberation Day

In the meanwhile it would be good if Europe Day,
May 9th,
became a bank holiday throughout Europe.

What would you like to add to this list of mine?

Hovering via Human Power.

I spent my lunch time the other day in the company of Chris
Roper.

At one stage Chris designed a vehicle which held the
world record for Man Powered Flight.

He is now involved in a hovercraft project which goes by
the name of Steam Boat Willy.

The Steam Boat Willy needs trainee human powered
hovercraft pilots, and volunteers who might be willing to
help in various other ways.

You can find out more upon their website:-

http://steamboatwilly.org/