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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble


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  1. Probably minuscule compared with the contributions from ducks, seagulls, and other birds. I recall some years ago reading that nitrate pollution in one of the Norfolk Broads meres that had been blamed on agricultural fertiliser run-off, turned out to have originated from the bird population.
  2. Talking of biodiesel reminds me that this nothing new. Packed away in the shed I have an Edwardian-era book on (mainly marine) diesel engines. It has a preface by Dr. Diesel himself in which he mentions the little-known fact that, at an exhibition in 1900, one of his standard engines was operated throughout on peanut oil. He observed that, not only would this allow his engines to be used in the colonies without the need to import fuel, but, in years to come when all the earth's reserves of mineral oil had been used up, his engines could still continue to be operated by harnessing the energy of the sun.
  3. School dinners 1/3d in 1960, state grammar school in West Ham, East London. I was dinner money monitor for my class that year and had to collect it every morning and take the money and a list of who paid to the office. Possibly subsidised by the council, who, being a County Borough (of Essex, not London) were responsible for education in the borough. The food was cooked on the premises in a brand new kitchen and was both plentiful and excellent. They did have pig bins then. 10 years ago, I mentioned this to someone at work who kept their own pig and she said it was now illegal to feed food waste to pigs that, as hers was, were to end up as food for human consumption. She was obliged to feed hers on pig nuts. I remember in the mid-1950's finding that my pocket money box only contained a ha'penny and a farthing, and buying two fruit salads and one blackjack with the proceeds. We used to call them farthing chews. I think it was the only time I spent a farthing.
  4. Been listening to the radio this evening. Funnily enough, experts on both Radio 4 and LBC were of the opinion that illegal inside contact was by far the major concern. Neither expressed any concern about outside activities, virtually dismissing them as irrelevant without actually saying so. I got the impression that they were (understandably perhaps) reluctant to actually contradict the official government line.
  5. Likewise for strong cross-winds: my post #1047 refers.
  6. True enough, but the point is that, in the absence of reliable data, the government are free to make any assertion they like. Governments like to be in this position. As I mentioned on another thread, a course I was sent on when I was working in the Civil Service included a module on government statistics, where, as an exercise, participants had to extract figures from the same set of genuine official statistics to support two completely opposite policy statements. Hence my cynicism when ministers say that the data supports their position: quite possibly factually correct only because they have only presented the data that does support their position. I agree that the stastically small number of cases I mentioned are statisticaly insignificant, but would think that the higher-than-average infection rate of local teachers is statistically significant.
  7. As has been mentioned in other posts, the usual procedure is for the government to decide policy first and then present figures to support it. A proper track and trace system would be able to provide reliable data as to where someone became infected. As far as I am aware, such data does not exist, so the relative risks of infection from being in an enclosed space and being outside appear to be a matter of surmise. All the cases I am personally aware of have been infected from indoor situations. A cousin was an early casualty, probably caught covid in a packed aeroplane when coming back to the UK after a winter break in Spain at the end of January. He got it, his wife didn't. Only after he collapsed at home did she realise it wasn't a case of "man flu". Over 2 months in intensive care, including 3 weeks in a medically-induced coma, a spell on a ventilator and then a trachyotomy. Physio to get him to walk again, but fortunately ok now, so you can understand why our family do take covid very seriously indeed. The others I know of have caught it either from schools or hospitals: a self-isolating couple in their 70's when the wife took the husband (blind) to a hospital appointment; a friend's daughter, who is a surgeon, from helping out on a covid ward and who suddenly developed symptoms at the end of an emergency caesarean operation that were so bad that a colleague had to finish up for her (so all the theatre staff plus her patients were potentially infected). At least the government now concedes the blindingly obvious fact that schools are a vector for infection: before christmas a friend's 3 year old brought it back from playschool. Her symptoms only lasted a day (arguably supporting Boris's weasel words that schools are safe for pupils), but she gave to to her bubble (both parents plus one set of grandparents). A neighbour's granddaughter got it at her 6th form college and passed it to her parents. While typing this my wife told me that a couple we know are now in hospital after getting it from their daughter, who got it from school. Just before christmas, 25 teachers at a local prep school of only 160 pupils went down with it, and a teacher friend informs us that, in our area, the infection rate for teachers is about double the local rate. Even if data were collected from infected persons with a view to tracing the source of their infection, no-one who got it from (say) attending an illegal rave is going to admit it and risk prosecution. I don't know of anyone who has been self-isolating and socially-distancing who has got it from socially-distanced shopping or outdoor exercise, and judging by the latest news reports of police arresting people attending illegal indoor parties, pub lock-ins etc., situations where people mix indoors seems the major problem. I suspect that the cases the police have attended are but the tip of the iceberg. So back to the thread topic, I don't see that someone self-isolating on a boat and maintaining social distancing when on land, represents any more of a threat than shoppng in Tesco's. Sorry for the ramble, but as an ex-professional engineer I was used to carefully collecting accurate data and drawing conclusions from it, unlike politicians who usually draw conclusions first, look for data afterwards, and are then secretive about the data that they rely on, making it difficult for anyone to challenge it.
  8. Probably because people do unconciously use their hands to touch their own faces and rub their noses.
  9. Re the tractor seat solution, one if the hire boats I was on in the late 1970's had a removable seat for the steerer consisting of a circular metal disc attached to a metal pole that fitted into a deep socket recessed in the deck. It did have a large rear deck and the seat was well inside the rear rail.
  10. -- so when *is* all that extra power needed? Ribble link? Upstream on the Trent? I well remember an Easter cruise up the Shropshire Union which included the stretch where it runs almost due North on a long exposed embankment. There was a strong cross-wind blowing from the Welsh marches. The only way to proceed was to give the engine maxmum throttle, with the tiller held over and the boat at an angle to the direction of travel with the bow and stern only a foot or so from the opposite banks. Anything slower and we would have been blown against the tow path bank. Fortunately there was nothing coming the other way. A real-life example of the principle of vectors and resultant forces I had been taught in applied mathematics.
  11. I understand from a recent article in a different paper that the Norwegian tax on conventional cars was already so high that there is litte difference beween the prices of hydocarbon and electric cars, which would be a far more significant factor in explaining their large-scale take-up. When we went on a cruise to Norway in 2012, thete were plenty of on-street parking bays with charging points in all the ports we called at.
  12. This story is repeated in today's DailyTelegraph. '[The researchers] measured levels of fine partculate matter and found it "flooded" into the room when the door of the stove was opened to add more fuel. ' As others in this thread have mentioned, a solution to this problem is to not open the doors too quickly! The sample size was only 20 homes. It would, I think, be unsafe to extrapolate this sample and base advice on the extrapolated sample, especially as we are not told anything about flue condition or fresh air intake and the fires may have been refuelled in an inappropriate manner. I grew up in East London in the days before the clean air act and well remember the smoke that our coal fire used to produce when first lit with newspaper and firewood under the coal, as well as when it was topped up with fresh coal. A tip I read in a 1920's home encyclopaedia, years after our open fire had been replaced by a gas fire, was to lay the coal first and light a small wood fire on top of it. I have used this method ever since in the open fire of our present house. It virtually eliminates the smoke you get when lighting a fire by the old method. Rather than going up the flue unburnt, the gases evolved as the coal becomes heated by the burning wood, get ignited as they pass through the burning wood, and the zone of burning coal soon propagates down through the coal as glowing embers from the burning wood fall. The method does work with smokeless fuel but more wood is needed than for coal, and smoke is not an issue with such fuels.
  13. There is an extensive thread about the Repair Shop, including details of the repairers, on the follwing site: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=135165 See particularly posts #61, #281, #305, #442, #451, and #499
  14. Thanks for the clarification, I didn't take note of the exact details as I have never had to tow anything, but noted the concern expressed about the lack of vehicles capable of towing: too comfy basking in front of our log fire to rummage in the back room where I keep my magazines! When we used to have a camper van we normally stayed at some of the many minimum faclities licenced sites, usually fields let by farmers and only licenced for a maximum of 5 caravans or camper vans plus 5 tents. The only facilties were normally a water tap and somewhere to empty your chemical toilet. I doubt that it would be financially economic for such sites to provide charging points.
  15. In this month's issue of the Camping and Caravanning Club's magazine, concern is expressed about the present and prospective lack of electric cars suitable for towing many of the caravans presently in use, as well as the lack of larger vehicles such as vans that could be used as the basis for motor homes. For a given caravan weight there is a legally minimum weight of car that may tow it, and most of the present models are simply too light to be used as tow vehicles. This is quite apart from the matter of installing large numbers of additional electricity points in camp sites.
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