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MH370: Boeing break their corporate silence with…official silence.

15 Mar

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The Boeing Company has uploaded their latest press release on their corporate website.

If you read their ‘About Us’ page, you will see that the company describes itself as ‘the world’s premier manufacturer of commercial jetliners for more than 40 years’.

Boeing also proudly explains that:

“…Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) provides end-to-end services for large-scale systems that enhance air-, land-, sea- and space-based platforms for global military, government and commercial customers.  […]  BDS is developing enhanced capabilities through network-enabled solutions, communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies. BDS supports the U.S. government as a system integrator on several programs of national significance, including NASA’s International Space Station and, the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. BDS is also expanding into new markets and adjacencies, including unmanned systems, cyber security, energy management, and support and logistics….”

Judging by their own formidable description of their skills, it is less comforting to consider that so far, Boeing has effectively said nothing to the world’s press in connection to Flight MH730. Clearly, it (as a company) must have a considerable amount of data pertaining to this flight.

However, Boeing says that it is now acting as a ‘technical advisor’ to the American National Transportation Safety Board who have a team in Malaysia working with the Malaysian government. Investigators with expertise in air traffic control and radar are providing technical assistance to the Malaysian authorities who are working on locating the missing jetliner.

And the NTSB, who only investigate domestic air accidents, make it clear in their press release dated 12th March 2014:

“…The NTSB plans no further releases of information on the investigation…”

So there you have it. Since it is now an ‘advisor’ for the ‘official’ inquiry carried out by the NTSB, Boeing is now free from being questioned about any issues relating to its own product. Even though the NTSB doesn’t usually work outside the USA. The clue is in the title. They are ‘national’ and not ‘international’.

I’m sure that Malaysian Airlines are relieved to know that the manufacturer of their aircraft which has gone missing is sworn to NTSB secrecy and works closely with US Defense. The NTSB don’t actually have any business working out of their territory but the fact that they appear to have disconnected their phone just after Boeing knocked on their door seems…well…disturbing.

If I bake a pie and you got sick after eating it, would you feel better if I told you that I was closely involved with the local Police and neither they nor I were available to answer your questions?

This “say nothing” corporate approach to missing aircraft by manufacturers does have a precedent in the story of the aircraft manufacturer De Havilland.

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MH370 – Hypoxia theory is posted on tumblr

14 Mar

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Courtesy of Tony Noonan and FlightAware, this composite of associated information is worth close consideration.

Making reference to some intriguing and up-to-date evidence that has not yet been generally released, this writer provides an interesting theory as to what may have happened. Please also read the comments added by other viewers because they have a serious bearing on the issues raised by the writer of the article.

http://mh370lost.tumblr.com/

Notice also that, if this theory is correct, this is almost a ‘carbon copy’ of an earlier accident involving a modern day jet airliner. Hypoxia has been a known issue since the 1940s, as mentioned in my earlier post.

Dorset road deaths are 7 times UK average, 17 times US.

26 Jan
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picture courtesy of Schneebremse

As Dorset Police have reduced the number of traffic officers patrolling the roads, deaths have increased in the UK county.

The Police cuts – applied in 2012 – have coincided with the number of road deaths increasing, reversing the previous trend. The BBC have uploaded an interesting article covering the story here.

Closer examination of the available data on the subject reveals that Dorset may have a far more serious road safety issue than has been reported or realised.

Using a selection of UK and  US government statistics, it can be shown that the county of Dorset actually has a road death toll that is seven times higher per mile than the UK average and is a stunning seventeen times higher than the rate for the United States.

And all this from a mostly rural county that has zero miles of motorway within it.

Roadwax recorded the rate of road deaths per day in comparison to the total miles of road in the county of Dorset. Then, this figure was compared with similar statistics for the whole of the UK and the whole of the US, using the most recent and accurate statistics available for comparison.

The results are shown in the table below.

2012.Dorset road death statsdocx

One issue that is raised by this research is how statistics and data can be shown in different ways to highlight particular arguments.

In this case, the simplest figures have been used and the mathematics is also straightforward. By dividing the number of road deaths into the number of miles of road across the area of Dorset, we get a factor – 1: 2,548.

That is: one road death for each 2,548 miles of road, per day.

If we then divide the miles of road available across the UK and also the US by this figure of 2,548 – we obtain the answers shown in the graph. We then compare the daily deaths recorded in the UK and US with Dorset.

If the answers in the graph are to be believed, then the county of Dorset has a serious road safety issue that needs to be examined urgently.

There is currently a lively and valuable debate being conducted over how road safety campaigns should be translated into actual positive results. You can read a range of localised views here and here. The debate extends nationally and is discussed in recognised road safety forums, such as this one.

But what data is being used to form opinions? Which figures should be used to make up arguments? Twice the fatality rate per mile might be seen as a high figure but seven times the national comparison is alarming.

And to be seventeen times more likely to be killed on a Dorset road than on an American road may provide an interesting starting point for the examination of exactly which road safety data figures are being given the most attention within the media today.

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First UK motorist is taught to drive on snow and ice.

12 Jan
A typically devastating scene showing what can happen when snow falls on an English pub.

A typically devastating scene showing what can happen when snow falls on an English pub.

The BBC have released footage of a British driver secretly being taught how to drive on snow and ice. The footage lasts just a few seconds and is hidden within a normal news article.

This news has been greeted with horror by Britain’s biggest safety quango, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Although its own website proudly claims to advise drivers on how to drive on snow, it is actually designed to discourage drivers from venturing out by simply re-posting the same dubious information that was printed in 1955.

RoSPA’s approach to the topic is simple. Load the driver down with so much cautionary advice on planning and multiple check-lists that they simply give up and stay indoors.

Even under the specific section ‘Driving on snow and ice’ – it doesn’t reveal any actual advice on how to drive on snow and ice beyond what is stated in the Police Driver’s Handbook. There is not a single mention of winter tyres, traction control, accelerator technique or gearbox control over-ride.

It instead assumes that you are immediately going to get stuck. Their finest advice is reproduced below:

“…move your vehicle slowly backwards and forwards out of the rut using the highest gear you can. If this doesn’t work, you may have to ask a friendly passerby for a push or get your shovel out…”

and the all-time classic:

“…slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners…”

What can easily happen if you don't "reduce your speed in plenty of time" as RoSPA advise...

What can easily happen if you don’t “reduce your speed in plenty of time” as RoSPA advise…

Roadwax sent special reporter Elena Handcart to ask RoSPA why they are fifty years out of touch with modern techniques for driving on snow and ice. Brian Loadsworth, head of Driver Thinking explained:

“The average British chappie is a little bit of a nuisance when it comes to driving a motor car on snow. We find it is far safer to try and keep him at home, checking his battery charge level and walking around trying to find a shop that will sell him a cavalry tweed car blanket.

The more ordinary people we can leave completely in the dark about snow driving techniques, the more space there is on the roads for bus drivers to pull over and cancel their journey. One really shouldn’t encourage this sort of foolhardy attitude among the workers”.

Thomas Schneebinder from the Stockholm Institute for Common Sense disagrees:

“When I was just six years old, my parents gave me my first Volvo. Like all other normal Swedish drivers, I learned to race old Saabs over packed ice by the time I was twelve. I am surprised that this knowledge is forbidden in Britain. Well done to the BBC for leaking it.”

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A post box completely cut off by more than four inches of snow – typical of what Britain may have to endure for up to several days

UK: A part of Europe yet apart.

25 Nov

This is the view of Britain that you can see if you look west from the edge of Europe. It has not changed since the birth of religion. This view remains constant. It is the view one gets from any ship or ferry that is heading to the Port of Dover, England.

To the home-coming Brit, first time visitor or the migrant, this view emerges usually from a cloak of  mist and cloud. The grey finger of land looms ever closer until great cliffs reveal the entrance to the small but restless port.

These last few minutes of the journey let you see yourself and your fellow ferry travelers as you really are. On deck or looking through the huge windows from the passenger lounges, we all stare at this view in silence.

There is nothing to point at, no comment worth making, no detail to arrest one’s thoughts until one is almost there.

I watch as a group of young Eastern European men and women put arms around each other’s shoulders as they gaze. One of them turns and hugs his friend and I see his cheeks are streamed wet with tears, his reddened eyes blinking furiously. His friends crowd round and he breaks his embrace and laughs and hugs them. They all laugh and hug.

By contrast, the well-dressed elderly couple turn away from the railing. He fishes a handkerchief from his sharply ironed trousers and blows his nose. She opens her handbag and suddenly rummages inside it as if attempting to kill a particularly defensive small rodent.

‘Have you got the keys…?’

Her shocked voice barks out to him, echoing across the deck above the hum and whine of the ship’s engines.

‘Yes.’ He replies, returning his handkerchief to its appointed pocket and inspecting with great enthusiasm the grey plastic decking beneath his brown and immaculately polished brogues.

A mother and father spill out through the cabin door onto the deck and repeatedly call for Imogen. Imogen leaves her position by the hand rail near me and becomes tried, found guilty, sentenced and punished in the few seconds it needs for her tired parents to dispense rough justice.

I watch as my brother takes a last photograph from the stern of the closely packed long-distance trucks that litter the open hold below. Sailors are cracking undone the chains that bind their dusty trailers to the deck and the ship’s tannoy is welcoming us to the Port of Dover in English, French and finally, Polish.

‘It sounds better in Polish’ says my brother, slipping his camera back into his jacket. ‘The French version somehow lacks a certain enthusiasm.’

Our great ferry is now shuddering violently as if something large and expensive to replace has broken loose in the engine room. The stern foams as black harbour water is angrily hurled elsewhere to let us turn and line up the bow doors with ramp number fourteen. The ferry over at ramp number nine  begins to depart and we all start to file below, down the stairs to the car deck.

As the 40 tonne trucks are let out of the holds beneath us, people go through the complex nesting procedures that are required to drive an unbroken journey from the dock to home, hundreds of miles inland.

The baby’s bottle needs to be got from underneath the suitcase in the back. The raincoats need to be folded away on the left so that father can see out of the right. The lady in the Audi TT needs her driving shoes on and her stilettos off and stored behind her. Imogen needs to be reminded once more of areas in her behaviour where her mother seeks lasting improvement.

I need to peel the black tape from my headlights so that they can once again shine more brightly to the left. I need to check the oil and water. Doing so fills the drivers behind me in the queue with horror. I am lifting the bonnet. I must have broken down. They are now trapped behind me. They will never be able to leave the ferry. I have ruined their entire holiday. I should not be allowed to drive. I drop the bonnet from shoulder height and stare back at them. Suckers. It works every time.

Our passports were checked earlier by the French Customs officer at the port in France. Then again at the next cabin fifty metres further along in the concrete wasteland by the British Customs officer in France. Then, once parked up in lines and waiting for our ferry, our load space was again checked by a British Customs officer in France.

Now, we leave the ship and join the queue that leads to the British Customs in Britain. Their concrete cave nestles at the foot of the towering cliffs of Dover. We are invited in.

The British Customs in Britain dance and swerve between the two slowly moving queues of heavily laden cars. They wave and point and beckon, let three cars straight through then stop the fourth and lean in to ask a quick question of the driver. The driver must not do two things. He must not sound nervous when asked out of the blue if he has visited Holland and his breath must not smell of alcohol.

Four policemen with loaded machine guns and hands on triggers ensure that we all focus on where we all are and why we are all here. You may look the policemen in the eye but you may not out-stare them. Not unless you wish to be beckoned to steer to the left and to a bay marked out on the wet concrete floor for those who may not understand. Look away. Appear bored and impatient.

The Eastern Europeans in their minibus are waved straight through. Customs are already fully aware who they are. The old couple are stopped. Duty Free alcohol. Where is it? How many bottles? Are there more bottles they have bought in France? Where? In the back? Show me. Fine. Thank you. Move on. The old man’s face is flushed. He was not expecting that. The customs officer knows that and that is precisely why he stopped him. You’d be surprised who tries to break the law.

My brother and I are waved straight through. Our car is sunken on its springs with over a hundred wine bottles that fill the cabin and boot under our coats and jackets. The Customs officers already know that. We are on a day trip. We are bound to be maxed out on wine that costs a quarter of the British price and tastes twice as good. We won’t be smuggling. You don’t get rich smuggling wine using a VW Golf. You use a Mercedes estate with self-levelling suspension, like the old couple did.

I am bringing into Britain what I am entitled to by British Customs. EU law says that the British are allowed to bring as much of whatever they want into Britain as members of a free-trade union of countries called the European Union. That is what free trade is all about.

But that cuts no ice with British Customs officials. They say that I am only allowed to bring in 100 litres of wine and a kilo of tobacco. Every now and then. Not too often.

Britain is different. We are an island. See photo at top of page for further clarification.

RoSPA shocked by how ordinary people actually live their lives.

24 Oct

I’ve got nine lives. You ain’t. Deal with it.

RoSPA has expressed shock and dismay that people drive while holding mobile phones.

The ninety year old veteran survivor of countless accidents and a couple of world wars was startled to discover that  people who drive cars through necessity often ignore common-sense advice on the use of mobile phones.

“It beggars belief!” said RoSPA, looking up from his newspaper while eating his breakfast and stroking the cat. “You’d think these people were quite unaware of the risks they were taking. I shall write an article about all this – you see if I don’t!”

Responding to Roadwax’s undercover reporter, RoSPA’s housekeeper and assistant, Verity Crash-Bangwallop, explained that RoSPA doesn’t get out much these days and is quite unaware that the practise has been going on for over twenty-five years.

“He normally gets upset when it comes up in the newspapers every now and then but he’s usually better by the time I bring him his lunch. Last Thursday, he became incandescent when I explained to him that bears are reluctant to use toilet facilities in woodland areas. I just locked myself in the Safety Room until he calmed down. He’s really very nice.”

The matter first came to light when RoSPA was informed by the local Community Support Officer that a youth had been spotted driving in the village while holding a mobile phone. RoSPA immediately wrote a letter to his local MP to highlight the shocking issue and asked the PCSO to keep him informed of any developments.

Local Independent MP Brian Loadsworth explained that RoSPA was quite unaware of the pressures upon normal members of society to receive and transmit data while driving.

“RoSPA is a nice old chap but his idea of driving is to gently ease into his old Mercedes 300TD and potter the half mile to the village shop to buy some matches for his Aga. He is quite unaware that some people spend many hours of the day driving while being pressurised by bosses and clients to provide them with time-sensitive information.”

“When I recently explained that some mothers need to contact child-minders to say that they were stuck in stationary traffic and would be late to pick up their child as a consequence, he was most resolute. He felt certain that this could be easily done while pulling over into a lay-by, switching the engine off and making the call whilst wearing a high visibility jacket at the side of the road. Fortunately, Verity brought us some lunch and the matter was dropped.”

With UK drivers currently being four times more likely to be involved in an accident when using a mobile phone while driving, pressure is on for the Police and also safety experts to find a solution.

A week long initiative by East Scrains Traffic Police to intercept drivers who were holding phones provided valuable results.

“We got our message across. You can’t drive with a mobile phone clamped to your ear. Not when one of our lads has just broken both your legs,” said Det. Insp Darren Shaft. “We usually get caught up in this nonsense debate about once a year. If we come down too hard then we lose the trust of the public. But we have to be seen to do something. We refer to it as “culling”. It ticks all the boxes and lets us get on with our real jobs.”

Dame Elizabeth Jobs-Agoodun from the road safety charity MENACE was more scathing.

“The threat of being sidelined by your boss for demanding that your car be supplied with the latest telecommunications equipment is no excuse. Working people should live within their means and ensure that they are perfectly educated in all aspects of the instruction manual provided with their leased vehicle. It really isn’t good enough.”

A simple and inexpensive campaign suggested by Roadwax to provide cheap Bluetooth hands-free kits to all motorists for the same price as a Cornish Pasty was launched today.

Det Insp Darren Shaft was not convinced.

“So, where did you get hold of all these then? Let’s ‘ave a look in the back of your van. Hands where I can see them…”

New U.K. Immigrant Citizen Test: If you pass it, you’ll end up like us.

1 Jul

The UK Home Office is re-writing the test given to immigrants wishing to become British citizens. If you are an immigrant to the UK and are currently thinking of applying for British citizenship, then Roadwax is pleased to welcome you to this sceptered isle and provide you with the following information.

A Brief Definition of the United Kingdom:

The UK is made up of a group of different countries who are not actually united. These countries are: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  To get round the obvious problem of historical and cultural disunity, the government describes the citizens of these four countries as collectively being “British”.

Wales, Scotland and Ireland all have their own languages and cultural beliefs. The British government has fought hard to stamp these out and officially obliterate them over the last two centuries. Only a few weeks ago, the young lad carrying the Olympic torch through Cornwall had his Cornish flag ripped from his grasp by a security official, obviously anxious to promote social harmony and cultural respect. This bullying and suppression has served only to enhance the differences within Britain and reinforce mass contempt for Whitehall.

Immigrant communities also bring with them their own cultural values and belief systems. Likewise, these are tolerated so long as they do not significantly threaten to change the existing system of law or social hierarchy. If they do appear to threaten the existing system then they will be suppressed by either destabilising the particular community or by making the cultural practise illegal, or both.

Britain is ruled by a Monarch called Queen Elizabeth. She has no actual power and does not actually rule. Although she is seen as the figurehead of British society, Queen Elizabeth is herself half German and is married to a Greek. To stop people continuing to notice that they are both foreigners, they use the false surname: Windsor. Like many British people, the Royal Family claim Benefits (financial support) from the government so that they can survive.

A Brief History of Britain:

Britain is an island, just off the coast of the continent of Europe. Every tribe and culture of significance has taken turns in trying to invade it, set fire to it, rape and pillage it and rule it. Ruling it (staying in power) is the difficult bit.

The Romans built a wall to keep out the tribes from Scotland but then realised that the Scots were using it to keep them out instead. The Romans left.

The Norwegians and French invaded and then realised that ‘invading a country’ is quite different from ‘ruling a country’.

The Spanish tried to invade but forgot to bring enough seaworthy boats.

The French tried to invade again, remembered to bring enough seaworthy boats but forgot to steer them properly.

The German 3rd Reich tried to invade, cut out all the complicated stuff involving boats, used bombers instead but forgot to bring enough of them.

From time to time, other cultures have attempted to invade Britain and overthrow its ruling elite. Both USA and Russia have tried controlling Britain through a mixture of cultural dominance and diplomatic blackmail. Both have failed.

If you are considering invading Britain or overthrowing its ruling elite yourself, you might consider first trying a practise run on a smaller, much easier island. For example, Sark…

A Brief Explanation of the Political and Legal System

Britain has always been ruled by a small elite, taken from a group of wealthy, educated and powerful British families. To hide the fact that this is effectively an ‘Oligarchy’, a democratic system of government is now installed and elections are regularly held. However, whoever wins these elections and becomes the Prime Minister nearly always becomes deeply socially connected to this elite. Go figure.

The present Prime Minister and Chancellor are so deeply embedded in this traditional ruling elite that their grasp or understanding of everyday life for millions of normal citizens is seriously questioned. Their own awareness of their lack of credibility among non-millionaire British voters is doubted.

After more than a century of mass voting, the 95% of Britain’s wealth and land ownership has curiously ended up staying with the 3% of those most wealthy families who have ‘owned’  it for centuries, having originally stolen it as local warlords many centuries ago. So much for democracy.

Britain does not have a written Constitution nor statement of citizens’ rights. British people have no actual rights of their own. All citizens’ rights are over-ruled by laws introduced recently “in the interests of National Security”. Nobody is quite sure what those interests are since Britain’s state interests are a secret.

Citizens no longer have the absolute right to defend themselves in a court. They are instead appointed a lawyer through the Judicial System. If a citizen can afford a lawyer to represent themselves (instead of the one appointed to them by the legal system) then that lawyer will normally also come from a family associated with the ruling elite.

The British Judiciary itself accepts openly that it is made up of a small elite, almost entirely connected by genetic and social ties. It acknowledges that this is not democratic and that it is trying to rectify this situation. Despite this admission, there appears no evidence of a genuine effort to change the system.

A Brief Explanation of the Cultural Beliefs of Britain

Historically, Britain is liberal-minded and only extremist cultures and groups find they struggle to survive. Every religious or political group that has attempted to enforce an extreme belief upon the British has failed. Facism, Catholicism, Protestantism have all failed through their use of violence, physical abuse and financial extortion.

Every Prime Minister who has taken Britain into war or used excessive force against British citizens has fallen from power almost immediately, never to return. Recent examples are: Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

The British belief in ‘fair play’ is generally supported across all social classes. Unfairness is seen as a greater sin than dishonesty.

This is because ‘honesty’ is not seen as the same thing as ‘fair play’. The British reserve their right to privacy and defend it as much as they still can. But in the current and recent public scandals involving politicians and business leaders, it has been a revelation to many British citizens to watch their leaders being openly dishonest, defending themselves by lying in such a way that they cannot actually be proven to be guilty of a crime.

This blatant manipulation of the law has caused the majority of British citizens to turn their backs in contempt against  the Establishment – the political leaders and judiciary – and this is shown by the ever-declining numbers who now bother to vote. The Establishment has no problem with this trend because it serves to secure their grip, not weaken it.

There is a growing belief in British society that fair play does not apply to the wealthy, that one’s honesty is never seriously questioned if one is powerful. Therefore, prison and punishment exist only to keep the disadvantaged citizen in line.  Wrong-doers who are both wealthy and influential never get sent to prison.

As has often been said about the British Legal System: “…Just like The Ritz Hotel, it is open to everyone who can afford it…”

Why Britain Needs More Immigrants to Become Citizens:

Britain needs tens of thousands of migrants to settle in this country and become British citizens. The government is doing all it can to attract particularly wealthy and educated citizens. They spend more.

Britain needs these immigrants to work hard, earn hard, spend hard, consume goods and services that have huge taxes applied to them (like fuel, education and housing) so that extra revenue is created to pay for the massive cost of keeping the system going without changing it.

The BBC website notices that The Sunday Times says that immigrants will be told:

“…historically the UK is a Christian country…”  Interestingly, the BBC forgot to insert the original comma after the word ‘historically’. So, not a very good grasp of written English from the BBC, there…

The Sunday Times reports:

“…In an explicit attack on Islamic fundamentalism, it [the Home Office] states that there is “no place in British society for extremism and intolerance”…”

…er, no – zero points to David Leppard and Jack Grimston from the Sunday Times, who wrote the article. That is an implicit attack, not an explicit one. Actually, it probably isn’t an attack on Islamic fundamentalism at all.

It is merely stating the bleedin’ obvious.

So, the BBC and The Sunday Times, both quintessential pillars of “Britishness”, are only semi-literate. And Theresa May, the Home Secretary (or: “home secretary” as The Times describes her – a secretary who works from home) is making an ass of herself by trying to re-write the questions in the handbook for immigrants applying for citizenship of Britain.

Theresa wants you to learn the first verse of the national anthem. She has removed the bits about claiming benefits and the Human Rights Act. You will have to learn a little bit about our famous battles, artists, poets, inventors. The test will last about 45 minutes.

You will not need to know about how the legal system works, nor explain why we do not have a declaration of citizens rights. You will not be asked how much you can buy a knighthood for, even though the price is quite clearly between £2m and £5m.

You will pass the test.

You will become one of us.

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