My goodness, what an eye-opener it was. After nine years of train commuting, I'd got used to it. After a short break, I saw it with new eyes. I saw the utter filth of London Bridge station. I saw the people crushed into cattle trucks. I smelt the fast food and the perfume and the body odor all mingling in an unpleasant aroma cocktail. I saw people struggling to get though a tiny platform exit on Lewisham station.Methinks this man, and his blog, are tired of London.
London has been described as the heart of the country's economy, pumping its fiscal blood around the nation. If that's the case, then the country has heart disease. Its arteries are clogged, unable to cope with the demands placed on them.
Early bus from here
Despite their protestations to the contrary, I have a sneaking suspicion that certain nannying types are somewhat disappointed that Richard Hammond not only survived his 288mph jet-car crash but ultimately escaped with nothing more than a bout of depression. No brain injury, no lost limbs, no scars, no nothing really. Amazing.
Firstly, the author’s use of the phrase “penis extension” says more about her than it does about Hammond, his Top Gear colleagues or indeed anyone who’s ever had the temerity to enjoy accelerating or a well taken corner.
Secondly, apparently the fact that Hammond came away from his ordeal moderately unscathed is going to act as a green light to “impressionable” “boy racers” who are going to be mowing down innocent children outside primary school gates the length of the land any day now. (Apart from anything else, aren’t the majority of school children ferried the short walk to school in 4x4s with more armour than our servicemen in Afghanistan and Iraq get to dodge roadside bombs in.)
Watch out, there’s straw man lying in the road:
“Do you realise how annoyed I am that I’ve got no marks on me?” he [Hammond] jokes. “Absolutely nothing at all, nothing for the pub. There are people who fall off their trikes at the age of 4 who have better injuries than me.” Ho, ho.
I wonder how Elizabeth Davidson felt when she read that remark. Mrs Davidson’s daughter Margaret, a 26-year-old doctor, was killed instantly when Nolan Haworth, 19, slammed into her car at 70mph after driving like a joyrider and overtaking on the brow of a hill.
Wheras I wonder what one earth the connection is between Haworth’s actions and Richard Hammond. Yes, peer pressure and the influence of others can be powerful forces but ultimately the choice to act on them is the individual’s to make. “Only following orders” doesn’t cut it as an excuse. Haworth and only Haworth is responsible for his actions. As are we all for ours. I will choose free will.
But, of course, you become the po-faced party pooper if you suggest that, actually, Hammond should be hanging his head in shame for driving a car at nearly 300mph in the first place.
You are a po-faced party pooper.
Hammond wasn’t driving a jet car along the local by-pass for heaven’s sake. It was on a closed track on private land with safety checks having been done and with medical personnel on stand by. The crash was caused by a mechanical failure. One of the tyres burst. These things happen. An identical mishap felled a Concorde. Did that not have all possible safety proceedures carried out or do Air France like to kill its passengers, employees and unlucky people on the ground? Should Ayrton Senna, Donald Campbell, Andrei Kivilev and countless others be hanging their heads in shame for not staying in bed that day?
Imagine how much he has supercharged the fantasies of hundreds of teenage twockers by bragging that he walked away from the crash with little more than a chipped tooth and is now looking forward to regaling his mates with the story over a few pints. This is the ballsy stuff of Hotspur comic legend — but it is also irresponsible.
And that Douglas Bader was a terrible influence too.
What’s wrong with a bit of inspiring derring do? Not everybody is as content to cower neath the duvet as this article’s writer. Some need to push themselves to go faster, higher and further and good luck to them. To link their exploits to some reckless idiot who chose to put his foot down in the wrong place is a) unfair and b) disregards free will.
Finally, I have no idea what on earth a “twocker” is supposed to be.
It is indeed a strange and eye-catching sight. I wonder if anyone will now make the case that such vehicles are a danger, by drawing the attention of drivers away from their driving. It might only take one more accident where this is the excuse offered.
Someone’s been crapping on trains.
Says Amit Varma, to whom thanks for the link:
I hope this doesn’t give any ideas to terrorists anywhere. Else, we’ll have terrorists crapping in public places everywhere, and when the intelligence agencies of the US and UK start investigating, they’ll drive through Mumbai’s roads early in the morning and discover exactly where the training camps are.
Seriously, this must be a nightmare for the fuzz.
Detective Constable Donna Fox said: “The man has struck at least 30 trains since August, causing approximately £60,000 in damage and cleaning costs and resulting in many carriages been taken out of service, causing disruption and cancellations to the train services and serious inconvenience to the travelling public. . . .”
If you see this man, says DC Fox, “do not approach him”.
Free newspapers distributed to subway commuters are a major cause of subway track flooding, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority investigative task force has found.
Leftover stacks of papers such as AM New York and Metro that blew onto the tracks and clogged drains were partially responsible for the crippling subway flood of September 8, 2004, which affected 15 subway lines, according to the task force’s findings.
Giant tea bottle
Sorry, I edited this in “open” rather than in closed. So very recent visitors will have been suffering extreme weirdness, involving two big bottles, then one big bottle, then the same bottle only smaller, and all the while with a caption just saying “Caption”. Live and learn. Plus, I discovered that in order to accommodate even the small version of the big bottle, I had to have more text. Which was this drivel. I wonder if I could get the picture to line up with the heading, rather than the top of the mere text. That would have sufficed.
Patrick, why is there as space at the very beginning, just before “PingMag”?
Growing pains. Lucky this blog isn’t a railway line.
Sir Geoffrey Ingram Taylor may, says Julian, have been the first man ever to have jumped out of an airplane in a parachute.
Brian MicklethwaitDave Barry has a rather alarming Atlanta Airport Update today:
So I'm waiting to get on the plane, and the pilots arrive at the gate, and as they walk past, one of them says to the other - this is a direct quote - "Hey, it flew in, it'll fly out."That's it. That's his entire posting. As I say, rather alarming.
I was a bit surprised that the RyanAir plane that took me home from Brest to Luton a few weeks back had just been taking a load of people from Luton to Brest. If the Luton to Brest bit was delayed, so was Brest back to Luton. No maintenance, and hardly any cleaning. I suppose they do enough maintenance for about five trips, at night.
That A380 image
According to Brian Micklethwait, who, incidentally, is threatening to re-enlist.