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Two-lane

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  1. A professional lifetime working on the design and development of military and avionics system - all safety critical systems. If a broad experience counts, I have worked in England, Germany and Italy - and have noted significant differences in cultural approach to problems in all three countries. Ewart qualified as a medical doctor years ago. I assume, I hope, that her licence to practice has expired. I am not impressed by people who wave around titles that are no longer meaningful. I would have no regard for someone who claims to be an airline pilot but who last flew a Vickers Viscount - and such a person would not be allowed to fly anyway, as their licence would have expired - no currency. There are people who do that. Malcolm Couch qualified as a phycologist and worked for maybe 6 months, and then worked for 27 years in finance and tax - but still insisted on being addressed as Doctor. He now works in the tourist industry. But some people are nevertheless impressed by such things. In my time I have worked with people with PhDs, but all had an education relevant to the industry. Their combination of natural-born ability, experience and relevant education made them valuable to the company. Someone going to a engineering company and saying "Hey, I've got a PhD in History, I can run your radar systems division" would be laughable. I have no wish to start yet another Internet flame-war, but your question "What qualifications do you have?" is both foolish and arrogant. The implication is that I need qualifications before I can make a criticism of someone else - that's nonsense. Ewart made a stupid statement to the press. I pointed that out. Ewart has qualifications that are irrelevant to the job she is doing. I also pointed that out. I believe it was not unreasonable for me to do that. If the covid problem was being handled adequately, there would be no comment from me. From my personal experience, let alone the comments on the forum, there is a great deal of incompetence being thrown around. The people at the top, including Ewart, are responsible. Having worked exclusively on safety critical projects, I assure you that having good ideas is not enough. Never-ending attention to the dull boring details is essential. You can't have an aircraft half-way over the Atlantic and the blue screen of death comes up. That attention to detail is just not happening here. So yes, my lifetime experience designing complex systems and solving problems qualifies me to make a comment about Ewart's abilities. And sarcastic comments about her PhD (History) are definitely on-topic. By the way, Magson has a degree in music. [And, in spite of its length, this is not another blog from Rob Callister]
  2. 'We're plateauing and coming off the peak" - this is the scientific analysis provided by H Ewart, PhD (History).
  3. Who is going to play the part of Deep Throat?
  4. But Quayle is also a member of Tynwald. Whose interests does he represent?
  5. Allinson has stated that meter readers will not be made redundant. He did not state what they would be doing, and the interviewer did not ask him.
  6. The "saves you money" bit is perhaps doubtful. There are a lot of fixed costs involved - staff, equipment, and not forgetting the big debt. The raw material - the gas that is burnt to generate the electricity - might only be a small part of the costs. If they buy gas in advance in bulk, they will possibly get a discount on quantity so there will not be a linear decrease in cost with decrease in quantity. So, if all electricity users - both domestic and industrial - used 20% less electricity, would the unit price of electricity stay the same or would it increase?
  7. There is a recent press statement somewhere, but I also refer you to a 2019 interview between Moulton and Allinson, in which Allinson said there would be no charge to the customer - "Manx utilities will be picking up the tab". He did not explain where Manx Utilities would be getting the money from. The cost stated is about £20 million for 50,000 meters. That is in line with the UK press statements that said about £400 per meter. (But I have suspicions about the probably higher maintenance and upgrade costs of a more complex system). It is frequently stated that smart meters allow the user to monitor their electricity expenditure. That is disingenuous. The meter itself does not do that - a second device does that. These additional devices can be bought separately. I have one, purchased from a charity shop for £5. It does nothing other than tell me that if I switch something on, it will use electricity. If I switch it off, it won't use any. Wonderful. It does not give any meaningful information about high-power devices such as cookers and dryers. It provides only data about real-time consumption. When I got the device, I went through a long process of turning everything off, switched on the living room lights (the device then told me how much that would cost if I left the lights on for a year), made a note of that; then the computers etc.etc. Few people are going to be bothered to do that. And they will do what I did. Forget about the whole thing. If I want to cook a chicken I will run the oven for the required time. That's it. Apart from Manx Utilities selling your personal consumption data to obscure organisations.
  8. I believe the honourable gentleman was referring to the figures for March, 2021 - the 7 day moving average is about 6000 or so.
  9. There is a lot to be said for fail-safe, distributed, systems. But if the gov. had gone for a simplistic but nevertheless efficient style of vaccinations, if one "hub" went down it would have been merely be a matter of moving the desk and chair to another location. But I suppose the gov. could somehow manage to screw that up too.
  10. I have received a letter inviting me to register for vaccination. I have already received one injection and have a date for the second. This implies that they have more than one database, and they are not talking to each other. In that case, and knowing there would be inconsistencies, it would be sensible to have included the words "Please ignore this letter if...". But they didn't.
  11. Well, you see, this is the way it is. They cleverly decided to spread things out by only sending out 500 letters per day. But the next day, 500 letters landed on 500 doormats and 500 people picked up the phone. No problem, because they had they had installed an automated phone service which told people what place they were in the queue. Unfortunately they used voice recordings of a real person - and by the time he had got to "You are 11th in the queue" he had decided to seek other employment. So anyone over 11th in the queue got the music. If they had the sense to use a computer-generated voice, people would have received the message "You are 499th in the queue. The expected waiting time is 2 days 26 hours. Please hold for an operator. The number for the Samaritans is..."
  12. A more relevant statistic, from my point of view, is the percentage of the general public that has been vaccinated compared to the figure for the UK. Probably a significant proportion of the IoM vaccinations so far has been to front-line staff. But to work that out one would have to know the number of front-line health staff per 1000 population in the UK vs IoM.
  13. It seems to me that a not insignificant part of the cost and problems of the northern end of the prom. is down to the requirement for red concrete - which is probably an unnecessary feature. You might also consider the cost of the concrete plinth which, as I mentioned, is there to take the weight of an electric tram. To run the trams, there would also need to be an additional significant cost for installing the overhead wires. Trams are damn dangerous. Flanged steel wheels running on steel rails do not break bones, they slice off bits of limbs - which is why modern trams have skirts down to ground-level. The MER is allowed to run at the moment because of grandfather rights. If the MER line was extended down the prom., it would be a new installation but would not pass up-to-date safety requirements. But presumably Longworth would insist that an exemption be issued. But... all it would take would be for one lycra-lout to take a tumble in front of a tram and lose a hand or a foot, and the tram would never run again on that section. And all that construction money is wasted.
  14. There is a 6 or 8 inch thick concrete slab beneath the rails - that is there to take the weight of an electric tram. But I do not understand the need for red concrete as the top surface. Is there a technical reason for this - or is it just to make the road surface a different colour? If so, could they not just have laid tarmac and painted it red?
  15. I don't understand what the problem is..
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