lördag 29 november 2008
Someone asked why a Jewish centre had been attacked and a rabbi and his wife killed. I replied with the suggestion that the following passage might have had something to do with it.
“The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.” Koran 9:30
Both the original question and my reply were deleted by moderators. How free is comment?
söndag 16 november 2008
Today's reading (above, Matthew 25:14-30) sounded odd in the light of current events. How did the servant who was given five talents turn it into ten? The story seems to encourage the idea that money can be made my moving it hither and thither. And what of the servant who buried his talent in the ground? Since usury is forbidden, would it not have been a sin to deposit it with a banker? What if he had deposited his talent with an Icelandic banker? What would his fate have been then?
lördag 15 november 2008
60163 Tornado on its first day of public service
Originally uploaded by Alastair Wood
The locomotive in the top picture is Tornado, based on a 1946 design and the first high speed steam locomotive to be built in the world since the 1950s. It is now being commissioned and when this is complete will be able to run at speeds of up to 90mph. It has taken over 15 years to complete.
This is a tremendous achievement. It is a pity that it was not possible to incorporate most of the technical developments which have taken place since the 1960s and have improved the power and efficiency of steam locomotives by about one-third; perhaps some of these can be retro-fitted in the future. The reason, I understand, was that the design, if modified, would have had to go through the costly rail vehicles approval process. In the circumstances, I think it was the right decision to go ahead with building the original design.
There are various other projects to construct new steam locomotives of types which were not preserved. But there is little need for steam locomotives for hauling express passenger trains, which is what most of these schemes are. On the other hand, the operators of tourist railways are short of powerful, efficient and easy to maintain locomotives suitable for the kind of trains they actually run. The lower picture is of a newly designed locomotive for exactly this purpose. Sadly, the manufacturer, DLM of Winterthur, has so far failed to attract any orders. If an order for 20 or more could be put together, they could be offered at an attractive price and could well find purchasers for more than tourist railways, since they would be competitive with the kind of modern diesel trains used on secondary lines which are not electrified.
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