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Everything posted by petergear

  1. Excellent advice fae Nyugle. I used Allen Carr's book, "Easyway to Stop Smoking", £8 well spent. He does, I concede, wind-up just about everyone who reads it over at least one point or another, and you're bound to be tempted to "argue" with him, but his general approach and philosophy is excellent. It's a book which "really does what it says on the tin". He mainly approaches it from the perspective of exploring the subtle psychological reasons why we smoke in the first place, which then allows us to "see-through" the who carry-on, and get the better of it. Also points out how we've been tricked into thinking that it's difficult to come off cigarettes, explains exactly what goes on physiologically when we do stop, and makes the reader realise that it is, in fact, very easy to stop - always reassuring news. A good book, worth taking a quiet weekend and reading it through. One final word of advice - life will be exactly the same when you stop smoking as it was before. You will face the same hurdles, annoyances and wind-ups when you stop smoking, but don't be tricked into thinking ciggies help... doesn't work that way. The book will explain why... available in all good stores...
  2. Surely, the answer is to use a broad a range of technologies, and to approach this from a number of angles. Nuclear has its upsides and downsides, but on a purely economical level it is BLOODY expensive - imagine how advanced Green technology would be if the government invested into it with the same enthusiasm it seems to show for Nuclear? New Zealand manage to create all their grid-power without ANY nuclear. On an energy-saving level, Germany are leading the field in research into how to prevent energy-loss from old buildings. The German government recently implemented new legislation forcing every new German house to consume less than 7 litres of oil per square metre. Just to give you some idea of what that means, an old building typically consumes 20ltr/m2. However, the chemical company BASF set itself the more ambitious goal of bringing an older property, just outside the gates of the company's offices in Ludwigshafen, to well beyond modern standards. Here's a link to an article showing how they did it (mostly through implementation of new insulative materials & heat-exchangers): http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/15/7/11/1 Generally, as an energy saving means, the use of heat-pumps offer fantastic returns and can be fitted anywhere. A heat pump operates on the same principle as a fridge (but in reverse), and actually puts out far more energy than it takes to run, because instead of creating heat it is simply moving it from "outside" to "inside". To quote the HPA's website: "Heat pumps supply more energy than they consume, by extracting heat from their surroundings. Currently heat pump systems can supply as much as 3kW of heat output for just 1kW of energy input. Heat is transferred from outside air or from warm exhaust air. It can also be drawn from a water source such as river, ground or waste water. Heat from any of these sources is used to heat air or water for various heating needs." Heat pumps are a technology which has been around for a very long time but is horrendously under-utilised because people don't know about it; because it's not poplular, people are nervous about it and shy away from it. "Oil heating vs Heatpumps"? People usually unfortunately opt for the familiar and populist choice, so "alternative" technologies often struggle to get established. Here's a link to the Heat Pump Association (HPA)'s website if anyone's interested: http://www.feta.co.uk/hpa/ Another simple and extremely effective energy-saving technology is the use of heat-exchangers in ventilation systems, which allow buildings to recover heat lost during their ventilation processes - again, sadly under-utilised, almost all buildings recover zero percent of their exchanged air, which is a shame. Here's a link to another website demonstrating the potential for this technology: http://www.villavent.co.uk/heat-recovery-ventilators.htm Green technology usually costs a little more sometimes to implement in the first place, but offers excellent long-term returns. I reckon the easiest way for the government to implement effective and immediate green policy would be to implement and publicise financial incentives coupled with information / education. They need to encourage people to adopt these technologies in industrial/municipal settings and private/public residential, and to make people aware of effective energy-saving technological options by issuing clear information regards what's available, where it's available from & how much it costs. Then all they have to do is sit back and watch the demand for energy plummet. I think the Government needs to approach the energy problem more laterally, flanking it from many angles, instead of from such a single-minded "how do we feed the grid & meet rising demand" approach. Final comment: What is it they say, "You buy cheap, you pay dear"? Hm. Chris Hodge.... Final Final comment then: Another energy-saving move would be to ban crap petro-chemical-derived tat & semi-disposable haberdashery from existence on this earth, in order to extend the life of our oilfields. Have I taken that too far? Don't think so Final Final Final comment - I reckon that by investing in nuclear, the government would unfortunately be buying dear AND paying dear?
  3. My parents, sister and her boys were coming round to take in New Year with myself and my better-half, and as we dont' have TV in the house I put on Radio Scotland to help us get into the spirit of things. All started well, with Robbie Shepherd, a lively dance band and a good degree of "Whheeee-ooch!" - splendid. Well, at about nine or ten, Robbie was replaced with a couple of dull semi-soothmoothers who were intent on playing us some very middle-of-the-road Radio One music, who made it clear that they would be "taking us up to the bells" with their dirge of Mid-Atlantic mediocrity. AAARGH - all the other radio stations were playing exactly the same. Thank goodness for our Fustra CD, which took us up to the bells instead. We stuck our heads out of our living room window to listen for the Toon Hall clock at the appropriate moment, then thoroughly enjoyed an enthusiatic firework display, courtesy of our neighbours. Why oh why, when every other station was playing middle-of-the-road pop music, did the programmers of Radio Scotland in their wisdom elect to follow suit? When surely New Year is all about whee-oooch and a nip of Whisky, no matter who you are? Presumably they have done the Market Research and found that their main target group throughout Scotland find Scottish Dance Music abhorrent, that 90 per cent of their listeners are alco-pop drinking, mindless, herd-following, uninspired souls who tune out whenever they hear Scottish Dance music, and switch to Radio One. Especially at New Year - "no whee-ooch here, thank you, we prefer Averil Lavigne". A bit of a disappointment for the minority who were hoping that Radio Scotland would have something to take them through the bells with something less drab than, well, that which the programmers decided to provide on New Years Eve, which was already basically being provided on every other bloody station. I mean, what's Radio Scotland there for? To reflect the programming of the USA and England? Surely not. Or am I just getting old and grumpy? Should I calm it and clam it and count myself lucky that Robbie Shepherd was on at all that evening? What do you think? Did you find the witterings of those two presenters (Edinburghoids??) "inspiring"?
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