Archive for August, 2006

You say Tomato, I say Tomato

August 28th, 2006 No comments

Hugh Laurie, who is currently starring in an American medical drama called House, has recently said of trying to sound American, “I have not identified a single word that is pronounced the same in America as it is in England. It is as if everyone else is playing with a tennis racquet and you have a salmon.”

Now I can understand this of most day-to-day words, but you would think that the trading names of multinational consumer product companies would be pronounced the same – not so: I was surprised to learn recently that the Americans even pronounce Nokia and Nikon differently to us. While we say ‘Nockia’, they pronounce the ‘o’ saying ‘Nohkia’. We say “Nickon”, they say “Nykon”. Even the television adverts for Nokia and Nikon pronounce it that way.

Categories: Misc Tags:

Royal Mail’s New Prices

August 21st, 2006 No comments

Royal MailFrom today, the cost of sending a letter or packet in the UK is changing. Now I’m not getting involved in the reasons or justifications of this change, however, I can see it causing more than a few problems during the next few weeks.
There is much discussion about the lack of advertising regarding this change and that not all post offices are ready for it, but what happens from today for incorrectly stamped letters/parcels? Will the Royal Mail be applying surcharges to received post, or will it be returning it to the sender? What about those who don’t use the post office to send mail and choose to just go to a post box? I can see a lot of post being sent underpaid according to the new rules. Royal Mail say that “in the immediate post-introduction period Royal Mail will be flexible in terms of not surcharging customers who have underpaid postage”. Expect to get lots of cards through the door saying that the ‘local’ delivery office is holding an item of mail which requires payment due to underpaid postage.

Categories: Misc Tags:

HGVs Overtaking

August 18th, 2006 No comments

This morning on a 30 mile motorway journey, there were three separate occasions where unnecessary congestion was caused when traffic was forced over into the third lane due to HGVs overtaking other HGVs.

Now I appreciate that HGVs have just as much right to overtake as other vehicles but on each of these three occasions, the overtaking HGV was not making any progress past the other vehicle, meaning that it was needlessly blocking the second lane and should have moved back over into the first lane. In each case, the road was clear after passing this blockage; none of these instances was on a hill either.

German No HGV Overtaking Sign In this country we seem to accept this ridiculous situation, but the Germans have a much better idea on their Autobahns: On certain places such as steep inclines and during peak times, vehicles over 3.5 Tonnes are prohibited from overtaking. It works well and keeps the traffic flowing.

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How to waste a domain name

August 11th, 2006 No comments

I’m always amazed at the number of vans and lorries I see with a web address such as but then right next to it is a mickey mouse email address such as or

If you’ve gone to the trouble of paying for and setting up a proper domain name, then why not use it for your emails as well?

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Highways Agency lose end of M62

August 8th, 2006 No comments

There was a multiple pile up this morning on the M62 between Junctions 6 and 4. Unfortunately, according to the map on the Highways Agency “Traffic England” website, this section of motorway does not seem to exist. As you can see from this screenshot, they’ve even had to put the warning triangle hovering over an apparently non-existent motorway:

The incorrect map

It also shows the M57 between junctions 1 and 2 as an A road (makes it look like part of the A5300) and the A5300 is shown as a stub. The correct map should look like this:

The fixed map

I have also taken a look around and according to this map the M65 only goes as far as junction 8. Junctions 9 through to 14 are missing. I’m sure the residents of Burnley, Nelson and Colne would disagree.

UPDATE: 26 Sept 2006

Noticed today that the M57 between junctions 1 and 2 is now correctly coloured blue. The M62 is still missing between 6 and 4 but it’s a start.

UPDATE: 15 Nov 2006

According to David Butler of the Highways Agency:

The reason these junctions do not appear is that they are maintained and repaired by the Local Authority – Liverpool City Council.

This means that the Highways Agency are unable to collect data for that section of Motorway , which in turn would provide the real time information for the Traffic England website.

But that doesn’t explain why the M62 between J4 and J6 is completely missing. Fair enough if they don’t have information to display, but they should at least show a greyed out road.

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Glossary of Yorkshire Medical Terms

August 8th, 2006 No comments

White Rose of YorkshireIn order to assist European doctors coming to England to work in the South Yorkshire area, Doncaster West Primary Care Trust have issued a Glossary of Yorkshire Medical Terms.

Please note, if you are easily offended, don’t follow the link..

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Powerhouse in Administration

August 7th, 2006 No comments

Further to my previous post about Powerhouse’s lack of support for any browser other than IE, I decided to check if they had changed their attitude, but it would appear that they have gone into administration.
Powerhouse in Admin

Categories: Misc Tags:

West Midlands Police Hopscotch Farce

August 1st, 2006 No comments

Chalk“The youngsters of today have no respect for the police” is a phrase which is often heard today, yet West Midlands Police recent petty actions against a group of children playing hopscotch have done little to build that much needed respect.

According to the BBC, they have “asked parents in Spring Street in Halesowen to remove chalk markings after complaints about them.“. The police refer to these chalk markings as ‘low level crime’, and by tackling that “they could prevent more serious problems developing”. What?! I can hear the warnings now: “Don’t let your daughter play hopscotch Mrs Smith, the next thing you know, she’ll be into prostitution!”.

What they have actually done is the opposite, as this sort of action will cause the children to lose respect for the police.

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