Thursday, 29 July 2021

I Am Only Making This One Short Post Today,

as Diana is not working today,


we are up early and off to the station, where we will be heading for a hopefully sunny Worthing, we have not visited this seaside town before, if you have time tomorrow please call back for our day out at the seaside.



Wednesday, 28 July 2021

I Walked With Diana,

into town,


we both had to wrap up a bit for the cold,

no one parked up today,

the weather looking grey to say the least,

Diana went to the 162 bus stop, I called into the railway booking office to buy a couple of tickets for Diana's next day off, we plan to go to the coast,

I had a little more shopping to do in town,

I stopped opposite The George, that appears to be having some work done on the roof,

and called into Boots the chemist to pick up my prescription,

walking back, the High Street seemed strangely quiet,

normally it is gridlocked with traffic, but not today,

up the hill and past the church,

to Marks and Spencers, Diana will be working late tomorrow so I picked up a meal I could heat up,

walking back past the graveyard,

I noticed this little chappie looking through the newly mown grass, he seemed quite happy to strike the pose, arriving home I printed a few things upstairs, then watched a Midsomer Murder, then my evening meal, next feet up for a Lewis and a New Tricks, 

when Diana arrived home we watched Suicide Squad (2016), great special effects and almost all action, as a bonus an impressive musical soundtrack, including many favourites,

 some going back a far as Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum, released in 1969, a real goldie oldie, with that end of that we were off to bed.


The Hydrogen Band Wagon Seems To Be Growing Almost Daily,

the photograph below from Cummins,


Air Products and Cummins jointly announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding two days ago (July 26) to work together to accelerate the integration of hydrogen fuel cell trucks around the world, Cummins is expected to provide hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains integrated into selected OEM partners’ heavy-duty trucks for Air Products, as the company begins the conversion of its global fleet of distribution vehicles to hydrogen.

Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO of Air Products, said, “We believe hydrogen is the future for heavy duty segments of the transportation market and we can demonstrate to the world its merits by being a first-mover in transitioning our heavy-duty fleet of trucks to hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, We are pleased to be working with Cummins to achieve our fleet transition goals. Sustainability is Air Products’ growth strategy and creates our growth opportunities, and nothing says more about our company’s approach to sustainability than a fleet of zero-emission vehicles on the road delivering product to customers every day.” Cummins' hydrogen fuel cell demonstration vehicle was designed for a 90-kW fuel cell and is scalable in 30 kW or 45 kW increments up to 180 kW,


also in the hydrogen news is that Hyundai XCIENTFuel Cell is up and running, the truck can be recharged from empty to totally full within 8-20 minutes per single charge, and offers a range of driving distance range around 400 km in the 4 x 2 rigid body configuration while towing an 18-ton trailer, and better news still,

the XCIENT Fuel Cell truck is coming to Europe! Hyundai Motor is shipping the first 10 units of XCIENT Fuel Cell, the world’s first fuel cell heavy-duty truck, to Switzerland, Hyundai will roll out 50 trucks this year and total of 1,600 units by 2025, in another announcement the company will develop tractor unit with driving range of 1,000 kilometres on a single charge, the future is bright, the future is clean, the future is hydrogen!


All Manner Of Things Can Wash Up On A Beach,

bottles, boats, bodies to name just a few,


photographs Jorge Carbajal, but a house? it is unclear how the abandoned home ended up on the popular beach, but it seems to have been there a while, as it is covered up with what appears like recent graffiti. One of the most popular theories is that the villa was the victim of a powerful hurricane that his El Salvador over two decades ago, the abandoned villa of La Puntilla Beach was popularized by Salvadoran TikTok user Cholopanza Vlogs, who filmed himself exploring the abandoned structure and also posted a more in-depth vlog about it on YouTube. The footage went viral and tourists have been flocking to the ruined villa ever since,

the history of this derelict structure is shrouded in mystery, but El Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Grafica, recently shed some light on its past, relying on accounts from locals living near La Puntilla Beach, apparently, around 28 years ago, the so-called villa was actually a hotel called Hotel Puerto Ventura. To make it more appealing to tourists, the owners decided to build it several meters into the sandy beach, but that proved a disastrous idea as it made it more vulnerable to the elements, “They built too deep into the beach, that’s what happened,” one local fisherman weighed in on the tragic fate of the hotel. “Before, official permission was not requested to build, and that is what happened, they went too far.” so I guess the building did not wash up, 

but was there all of the time until it was 'discovered' naturally the building has developed its own mystic, local woman Coralia Sotelo told La Prensa Grafica that kids in the area have told her that at night they see a very tall black man hanging around the derelict building, which is why she always keeps her distance, what a great story, building washes up on the beach and better still is haunted!


Pineapples,

we take them for granted now,


but when first introduced to Great Britain they were so rare that they could be hired by the day, to impress your dinner guest! The pineapple has always been associated with prestige and luxury due its exotic appearance, it first appeared in Britain in 1668, by the Georgian era, the first pineapples were being cultivated in Britain. The efforts it took to produce meant that by the time a fruit bloomed, it was valued at £60 (roughly £5,000). Concerned that eating such high-value fruit was a waste, owners opted to display pineapples as dinnertime ornaments, passing them from party to party until they rotted, such was their symbolic worth that maids who transported them were deemed at great risk of being accosted by thieves. In 1807, there were several court cases for pineapple theft at the Old Bailey, the most notorious being that of Mr Godding, who was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia for stealing seven pineapples, just a few days ago I bought a pineapple at Sainsbury’s, for just £1.00, imagine it had travelled half way round the world giving a profit to the grower, whoever took it to the docks where it was grown, the shipping company, the UK importer and Sainsburys, all making a profit out of just £1.00 amazing!


Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Diana Was At Work,

for myself I had a quiet day,


I just watched television until Diana returned home in the afternoon, after our evening meal it was feet up for one each of a Midsomer Murder, and a Lewis, it was quite strange watching them both, two actors appeared in both episodes, I guess they were not recorded at the same time, it was just that they aired when re-run one after the other, we rounded off the evening with a New Tricks before we were off to bed.



Here Is Some Good News,

on the hydrogen cell front,


Hyundai have committed themselves to release the Staria with hydrogen fuel cells, 

for release in 2023, it already it appears to be a success as it has already sold nearly 8,000 units in just 2 months since its release as a MPV, leaving the current model to one side,

the makers state that the hydrogen model will have 113kW (about 154 horsepower) and a torque figure of 40.3, even better news, on a single charge it will do 609 kilometres! for full update on all of this and a few other offerings in hydrogen from Hyundai have a look here

and it is just not cars, MPV's, lorries and buses that are going hydrogen, cruise ships are as well, as this illustration from FuelCellWorks shows, for the full low down on the worlds first ocean going hydrogen powered cruise ship, have a look here, the future is bright, the future is hydrogen.


There Is One Food That Is So Popular,

that I just can not stand,


melted cheese, putting that to one side, this melted cheese sandwich uses a very rare cheese indeed, photograph Serendipity 3/Facebookthe cheese is Caciocavallo Podolico which is the main ingredient of the sandwich, the cheese is imported from southern Italy, where it’s made from the very specific milk of just 25,000 cows, which only lactate for two months a year, “We came up with the number through pricing out all of the ingredients- of course, they are the most expensive and exclusive ingredients in the world,” Serendipity 3’s creative chef, Joe Calderon, told Guinness Records. “The sandwich needs to be ordered 48 hours in advance because all of these ingredients are flown in especially for your order. When you take a bite of the sandwich, you taste the crispiness of the bread, the Dom PĂ©rignon champagne that’s baked into the bread, the creaminess of the white truffle butter and then the cheese- it’s superb.” the sandwich comes with a a cup of South African Lobster Tomato Bisque dipping sauce, before being served on a Baccarat Crystal plate the sandwich is put in a panini press for four minutes, giving the special cheese time to start bubbling, 

if you fancy making this sandwich yourself, above is the video, or you could go to the New York-based restaurant Serendipity 3 and order it there, but I should point out that at $214 it is not cheap, would I like one? not in a million years!


When Playing Basket Ball At School And College,

when picking a team, the players height was often considered an advantage,


screenshot from Sina Weibo, so at 7ft 5in (2.26m), Zhang Ziyu, a 14-year-old basketball player from Shandong, China, would be a wise pick as a player, especially given that that Zhang’s parents were both professional basketball players, but still, her stature is surprising, especially considering her age, She is already  taller than both her father (6ft 11in/2.13m) and her mother (6ft 6in/1.98m), 

but Zhang Ziyu has more than height going for her. Coming from a basketball family, she has been playing the sport since she was just 5-years-old and training under the watchful eye of her mother, a former member of China’s national team, hopefully she will be able to cope with the challenges of her height, sports experts agree that if Zhang keeps up her training, she has a bright future in basketball, but psychologists have warned that the height difference between her and the other kids her age could cause social issues, and asked that the girl be protected from bullying, for the full story have a look here.


Monday, 26 July 2021

Sunday,

all set for a read and sherry,


'Cheers!',

for our starter mussels in a white wine sauce, Diana had a strawberry flavoured water drink, with fresh strawberries of course!

roast pork was the joint for the weekend with cabbage from the garden of Steve and Kai,

eyes down and tuck in,

sticky toffee pudding with fresh cream for dessert, 

and nice it as too, after lunch the first of the afternoon and evenings films,

The Third Man, filmed in Vienna, I have lost count of the number of times we have watched it,

and I would guess if you have not seen the film, you will recognize the theme tune of it in any event in the recording of it above, and if you have not seen the film here is a description of it, I mentioned that both Diana and myself would like to visit Vienna, and go on a Third Man tour, little did I know but there is such a thing,

for myself and I guess many others the closing scene is the shot that means so much, after a long, almost two minute shot of her walk along the cemetery road, with Martens waiting for her, Anna ignores him, and the movie ends, this final long walk was apparently shot by uncredited German cameraman Hans Schneeberger, but due to the mindless pettiness and instance of British unions, none of the Viennese cinematographers units were allowed to have credits in the film,

the avenue as it is today, as an aside Orson Welles was the Third Man, apparently a difficult actor, but in this film he made perhaps one of the most well known add on's, in a speech where he improvised whilst talking to Cotton,

and it was kept in the film, just a 20 second speech and totally off of the cuff, what a great film, as is his Citizen Kane, we followed The Third Man with a real chiller,

a true story as it happens, 10 Rillington Place, it was about the serial killer, John Christie, also the spotlight for the anti hanging brigade, a intellectually challenged person Timothy Evens took the drop for Christy and was ultimately though tragically to late pardoned, this case led the anti hanging brigade to ultimate victory, no blood and guts, just a true chilling statement of the facts in what was post war Britain, we rounded off the evening on a lighter though thoughtful note,

Contact, great cast and story line, just a pity that the Arecibo radio telescope that featured early in the story has fallen into disrepair, the film leaves with the question, 'are they out there?' a nice film if you have not watched it before, and with the end of that we were off to bed.


Receiving A Had Written Letter,

is a real rarity these days,


especially if it is written using ink from a bottle, all images courtesy of Drillog,

as opposed to ink from a cartridge in the pen, but the problem in dipping a pen nib into ink is that it can only hold a limited amount of ink,

until now,

as its name suggests, Drillog is a drillbit-shaped pen that holds the ink in its thin grooves that spiral up the side of the nib, it is the product of the CNC-machining factory Shion,

whereas traditional quills require repeated dips and the more modern fountain pen suspends the pigmented liquid in an internal reservoir for longer use, a single dunk of the Drillog should retain enough ink to smoothly fill an A4 size paper,

its interchangeable barrels come in dozens of style-and-colour combinations, and the Japanese company even released a miniature palette with tiny wells designed to reduce spillage. There are just under 40 days to back the fully-funded project on Kickstarter, and you can find out more about the aluminium pen on the Drillog site and Twitter, imagine the days when using ink and a ink well was the only way write a letter, what a revolution this pen wold have been! I have just made link to the updated site, it appears they have now been fully backed, so I guess it is only now a matter of time until the pen is on sale.


With The Quickest Of Glances,

it is unmistakably,


a LEGO product, or is it? photograph Culper Precision/Instagram, it is in fact its a colourful Block 19 gun which was designed to resemble a toy gun made from LEGO-like bricks, CulperPrecision, a company that specializes in taking “a firearm of known value” and transforming it into a “personalized invaluable treasure for a fair price”, is facing some criticism, the result of which LEGO reportedly sent Culper Precision a “cease and desist” order, which makes sense considering the look of the Block 19, as well as the fact that the company mentioned LEGO in their marketing materials, including encouraging people to buy the gun “made out of the Legos you got from Santa”,

“We wanted the second amendment to simply be too painful to tread on, so there was only one logical solution,” Culper Precision wrote in an Instagram post, adding that the Block 19 was supposed to emphasize that guns were “for everyone”, and that “owning and shooting firearms responsibly is a really enjoyable activity”, unfortunately for Culper Precision, the company that inspired their original design didn’t share their view, and after consulting with their lawyers, the company decided to suspend production of its gun, the toy-like Glock, which sold for between $549 to $765, is no longer being made, but Culper Precision seems unapologetic, taking to Instagram to post that people “have the right to customize their property to make it look like whatever they want “, now I am not sure about this, but apparently in the US is is illegal to sell children’s toys that precisely resembles real guns, but there is no law explicitly preventing manufacturers from creating a gun that resembles a toy.


Although Not Recognized,

as a tooth cleaner,


news reports of viral TikTok videos promoting Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as an effective and cheap way of whitening your teeth in the comfort of your own home have surfaced, photograph Rafael Rocha/Unsplash, according to KUTV, the unusual teeth whitening trend was kickstarted by a TikTok user called “theheatherdunn”, who claimed the big secret to having healthy, white teeth that dentists always compliment her on is using Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. In a clip that has gotten over 255,000 likes and over 2,500 comments, Heather shows how she uses a piece of Magic Eraser to rub her teeth without touching her gums,

the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser box clearly warns users not to use the product “on the skin or other parts of the body”, and the list of ingredients, according to the product’s U.S. patent, includes melamine, sodium sulfurous acid and formaldehyde, of which the latter two are the most worrying,

some dentists did come out to discourage people from following Heather Dunn’s example, warning that Magic Erasers are basically melanin sponges, which act like very fine sandpaper that can potentially ruin the enamel on your teeth, “Excuse me is that a Magic Eraser? Like, she’s afraid of fluoride but she’s cool with using a Magic Eraser on her teeth. A Magic Eraser is actually made of melanine foam. It’s basically foam that’s hard as glass and acts as a really abrasive sandpaper, meaning, yeah, your teeth are white because you scrubbed all the enamel off. So, in fact, no, don’t do this,” Dr. Benjamin Winters, an orthodontist from Plano, Texas responded on YouTubebut although rubbing your teeth with fine sandpaper sounds like a terrible idea, there is actually some research that actually suggests it works. A 2015 study found that melamine foam proved an effective tooth stain-removal tool, with only minimal scratching, and another study, from 2013, found it to be more effective than brushing in removing stains off of artificial teeth, so there you have it, unfortunately for the few pearly whites I have left, it is too late for me!


Sunday, 25 July 2021

What A Nice Sight,

to great me in the living room,


the sunflowers we had bought yesterday had really opened up,

then out into a cold grey morning,

I walked past the snail mail post box,

into the gated section, to stop cars taking a short cut through the park,

in the distance the Mansion house I was headed for,

as this was start of the first parkrun

that had been taking place before the lockdown started in hundreds of parks every Saturday, this weekend sees the first of nationwide park run for 497 days, wait a second, who is this on the left?

none other than Steve who is a very keen runner,

already here were 20 or30 runners gathered at the start,

the number soon swelled,

the mansion house in the background,

by now well over 100 runners were waiting for the start,

apparently as each runner finishes he/she has a bar code that you must bring with you so your time and place can be recorded, 

more of that later,

by now the numbers had double,

there were in fact as recorded at the end of the run 200 runners,

all set at the start,

all of the faster runners at the front, and there is Steve,

ready, steady,

Go!

the runners streaming down the hill,

of course not all are daily or weekly runners,

some here have just come for the fun of the run,

a marshal brings up the rear, just in case of anyone needing help,

a turn to the left,

and the first runners are heading towards the wooded section,

if you fancy joining the park run next or any other week all of the details for the Beckenham Place Park run are here, it is all free, but please register before you first come along, you only ever register with parkrun once. Don't forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won't get a time, and how did Steve do? he finished in 50th. place, an outstanding achievement considering he is due to retire next year, a big well done to Steve!

in the evening Diana returned home from work so it was time for a sherry and a read,

for our starter dry toast with chicken liver pate, plus some delicious fresh radishes from the garden of Steve and Kai,

for our main course 28 day aged steaks with mushrooms, saluted potatoes and onion rings,

eyes down and tuck in,

for dessert a tiramisu with strawberries and raspberries,

'Cheers!',

we just had to have a selfie,

then something we had not done for a long time,

we had a game of Monopoly, with our own set of rules, I will not embarrass anyone by disclosing the score, but Diana lost, moving on,

we rounded off the evening with a late night film, one from the Westerns Collection, The Wild Bunch, as one newspaper put it, admittedly some time ago, the 'No 4 best action and war film of all time', and with the end of that we were off to bed.