Sunday, 9 August 2009

Segway - The Way To Go

I strongly suspect that a new phenomenon is about to hit Britain. The Segway PT is a personal transporter, and is a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle invented by Dean Kamen. It is produced by Segway Inc. of New Hampshire, USA. The name Segway comes from the Italian and Portuguese word meaning "follows". PT stands for personal transporter.

Computers and motors in the base of the device keep the Segway PT upright when powered on with balancing enabled. Users lean forward to go forward, lean back to go backward, and turn by using a "Lean Steer" handlebar, leaning it left or right. Segway PT's (pictured) are driven by electric motors at up to 12.5 miles per hour (20.1 km/h). Gyroscopic sensors are used to detect tilting of the device which indicates a departure from perfect balance. Motors driving the wheels are commanded as needed to bring the PT back into balance.

The Segway was first unveiled in 2001, following months of very public speculation, and first produced in 2002.

The limited capabilities compared to vehicles of similar price have limited Segway market penetration by the general population. Segway have had success in niche markets such as transportation for police departments, military bases, warehouses, corporate campuses or industrial sites. The legal road worthiness of the Segway varies with different jurisdictions' classification of the device as a motor vehicle. I shall be surprised if the Segway is not the next big thing to sweep the country. Perhaps the current cycle lanes will become Segway lanes.

News Roundup

News Roundup takes a quick look at items of interest seen in the media during the past 7 days.

Gud On Ya Pete

You have to admire Peter Andre for the way he has handled the break-up of his marriage to Katie Price (aka Jordan). Whilst Katie has been seen all over the media cavorting with the new man in her life, Peter has maintained a certain dignity, quietly getting on with caring for the couples three children, two of which belong to Andre and a third from Katie's previous marriage. Despite being devastated by the split Peter Andre has conducted himself impeccably. Pity that Katie didn't do the same, if only for the sake of her children.

I want to be an MP

I read an interesting article last weekend about the amount of time MP's devote to our interests. A comprehensive 'parliamentary census' shows that for the first time in history, the average Commons day is less than the typical eight-hour working day of most of the population. The report also shows that inflation-busting rises in their wages and expenses have doubled the cost of an average MP (I like the use of the word average) from £125,000 a year to £250,000 in less than 20 years.

Similarly House of Lords expenditure has doubled between 2001 and 2008, rising from just under £67 million to more than £121 million. Little wonder the country has had no leader for four days whilst Gordon Brown, Harriet Harmon and Peter Mandelson have all been on holiday at the same time.

Shaping the future of the humble oxo cube

I see that oxo makers Premier Foods are about to produce an 'x' shaped oxo cube in place of the traditional square shape, which has been part of Sunday roast in family homes for nearly a century. From next month the cubes will have notches carved into the sides to give them a distinctive new shape (does this mean we get less oxo for our money). No say Premier Foods the size and weight of the block would remain unchanged. The makers claim the notches enhance the crumble. I very much doubt it will have much impact on my lumpy gravy.

Church Bulletins

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Pastor is on vacation.Massages can be given to the church secretary.
The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs Julius Belzer,
The preacher will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth With Joy'.

Kids Are Quick

Teacher: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
Maria: Here it is.
Teacher: Correct. Now class, who discovered America?
Class: Maria
Teacher: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
John: You told me to do it without using tables.
Teacher: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile'?
Glenn: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L
Teacher: No, that's wrong.
Glenn: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
Teacher: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
Winnie: Me!

Where Do Kangaroos Go On Holiday


Carres Reunion

On the 2 August 2009, I included an article in the Journal about my old school reunion. The picture below shows some of the 'old boys' who attended a visit to the school on the Thursday morning.

Left-Right: Mike Gray, Alan Wooton, Tim Harrod, Ian Moore, John Arum, John Mather, David Brittain, John Barber, Robert Donison, Maurice Blakeley, Frank Graves, Mick Navsey, Rodney Garlant, David Siddans.

Most of us had not seen each other for over 50 years. The picture was taken in the garden of the headmasters house, where our form photographs for the year 1952-53 were taken. Apologies for any mis-spelt names.

My grateful thanks to David Siddans for supplying the photograph.

Thought For Today

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?