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Sunday, January 29, 2017
The news from Israel was totally positive. For too long the world has been wishing for a better power source for our cars. There is promising development from Tesla Motors who are making excellent electrical cars, but no matter how good the electric motor the batteries they use to drive them needs to be charged from turbines that use fossil fuels to power them.
Shauli Yaakoby from Israel, an inventor has turned his focus on this age old problem and rather than try to find something entirely new he has decided to improve what there already is. What he has done is to create a motor that moves a single piston sideways to produce 86 hp. The engine does not directly move the wheels, according to reports by The Jewish Press, but the engine powers a battery which drives two electric engines that power the wheels. I suppose it could be said that that would make the car a hybrid but they are not saying that is the case. While this engine also uses a battery the real breakthrough comes with the very significant savings in fuel consumption.
Whatever its technical classification because it uses a whole lot less fuel, and will most likely be wonderfully reliable with far less moving parts to need service it should find wide acceptance. We all remember when VW produced the Beetle how much of a hit that was. Apparently the company that has been created by Shauli, who is the CTO, (presumably that means Chief Technical Officer) is being taken seriously by the industry. The company's name is Aquarius Engines, with Ariel Garfung as CEO and Gal Fridman as CMO.
After all these years we see a real revolution take place that will so change the way we move around, coupled with the advances in cars that drive themselves. This proves what we all know, that everything is open to improvement.
This is wonderful news. The only thing that would improve on it would be a radical new fuel to require a one stop per month top up. Hope someone's working on that one.
Copyright (c) 2017
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Why we should all be very afraid.
Although this will be an essay on the new President Trump administration I wish to make it clear that this is only an exercise in the hypothetical. I have no reason for thinking anything other than that which has been advertised: that being that the stated goal of President Trump is to make America great again.
The president's meteoric rise to power is completely without precedent. He started as a joke and steadily crushed all of his competition, and in the process he took over the republican party and made it his own. So many prominent Republicans said along the way that they did not want him because he ran the most odd campaign that most people did not realise was a deliberate strategy.
He was the billionaire bully who insulted people and called them liars and cheats and dishonest, which resulted in his name on the lips of everybody throughout The United States and around the world. During election day he passed his opponent so fast that she wasn't even sure he was ahead.
Now he is in the first 100 Days of his presidency and he is making good on his promises. He controls a majority in the House of Representatives and in The Senate, and a great number of governors throughout the individual States. That is absolute power, and he is just the type of person to exploit that power to the maximum.
The office of The President is deemed to be the most powerful office in the free world. The necessary checks and balances are normally provided by The House and The Senate, but these now seem to be prepared to follow Mr Trump as though he is The Messiah.
The voters may have inadvertently elected a dictator - in - waiting, only the President himself can decide that. He has said that he gets things done, which sounds a lot like, Yes we can. He certainly got to where he is by doing things his own way. So far he has only had his businesses to work with, but now he has the entire country as his canvass, and by extension most of the world will listen to him. That's very heady stuff.
I'm trying to see ahead ten, twenty, thirty years. I think it is clear that change on the magnitude to be called shock and awe awaits us. We have seen his game plan before where focus is placed on a people to be vilified. In his case that includes the free press in the United States. Once he is able to mute the press he would have a free pass to do whatever to whomever with complete impunity.
As I have said, this is all just hypothetical and the president has not indicated otherwise. But, these things could come to pass because they are within the realms of possibilities. So, yes, we should be careful and take baby steps that only take us one day at a time.
Be afraid, be very, very, afraid!
Copyright (c) 2017
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Eight years ago the state of the United States economy was such that it appeared that the job awaiting the next incumbent in The White House would be impossible. It seemed that all that was lacking was to push the flush button.
Enter Barack Obama, who actually wanted the job. The first Afro-American to take up office as President of The United States of America, that was dealing with soaring joblessness and debt, so they gave the job to a black man. As Western blacks we were amazed that we had lived to see the day, but we all took one giant breath and we have held it ever since, because if America actually lost its standing as the World's Super Power a black man would get the blame. That would have stuck for all time. People would have become true believers in what they had been trying to say all along: black people can't do anything right.
Even the Reverend Wright, Obama's former pastor declared against him, thereby acting out the role that has plagued the black man who tries to get ahead since time began.
Most of us gave Mr Obama our faith and our encouragement. We supported him and stood behind him, even when we wished he would have done more for blacks in America, but we realised that his hands were tied because he had to be president for all Americans with an even hand.
He has also put his very life on the line every day of his presidency just to make the point that he was capable of being a steady and well reasoned captain of the Ship of State. What he has achieved is nothing short of being amazing. Having the Congress and the Senate dead set against him makes his accomplishments all the more astounding.
In the process he has avoided personal stupidity and scandal and he has been able to leave the White House, and the economy in superlative condition as compared to when he came into office. We must remember that the president is just one man and cannot control everything that happens within his country, or around the world; but somehow he gets the blame and has to shoulder it alone when things go wrong. When things go well there are no end to those who will share the credit. So, Obama was not personally responsible for the Dow Jones closing up around 20,000, which was not even considered possible- ever- in 2008.
Unemployment is at an all-time low, and that happened on his watch. He did what he could to encourage it to happen. He did steer the Ship of State away from the rocks with his policies.
and he did authorise America's forces to take down Public Enemy No.1. Americans are far better off upon his leaving office than when he came in, but party politics being what they are people will still grumble if they are determined to find something to grumble about.
There was just so much he could do with the support that he had. The most courageous thing he did was to champion The Affordable Care Act that made it possible for 20 million Americans to have heath care insurance which was previously denied them. No other president would touch this subject in any meaningful way. He did, and turned it into a reality, and now they want to simply sweep it away. I suspect that it will simply re-emerge under a new name, but if it is new and improved it will still be Obama Care II. No-one will be fooled.
The first black family have taken their place in history and they have left a clean record that all blacks everywhere can be proud of. They hold their heads high in the knowledge that conducted themselves with dignity and grace. We can be proud of them and we can be proud of ourselves as a race. No-one can ever again convince my son that there is any height that is beyond him due to his colour. If he can dream it, he can do it.
President Obama left office on Friday, 20th January 2017.
Thank you and well done, Mr President! We shall miss your sparkling speeches, your wit and your intellect.
Copyright (c) 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Friday, January 20th, 2017 will be a modern equivalent of D-Day, (The Donald Day) when America's president-elect will assume his office. That will open a new chapter in American politics that will most probably be unlike anything that has gone before.
One thing seems to be certain. All the good works that President Obama has achieved over his eight years in office will be undone. That will not invalidate the value of those works. On the contrary, I think those things will increase in value as people come to miss them, such as The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. The change in administration styles will likely be so abrupt and extreme that it will make people dizzy.
Inevitably the new president will get some things right and some things will not turn out well, at least for some people. He is the new people's choice and everyone will have to live with whatever that means. Personally, while not a supporter I salute Mr Trump for what he has achieved, having come from dead last to take the seat in the Oval office. Brilliant! That was the easy part. Now that he is there he will find that that seat is the hot seat, and the least he can expect is that at the end of four or eight years he will not have any hair left.
America, and the world will be very different places on January 20th, 2021, and 2025. Britain will be a solitary island again, and as for America we just cannot have any idea of what to expect. Mr Trump says that he will make America great again. Good luck to him and to America. If time proves him to be right, then so be it. I would hate to see him proved wrong.
Copyright (c) 2017
Saturday, January 7, 2017
One of Spain's greatest traditions is the parade of The Three Kings, otherwise known in Spanish as Los Reyes Magos ( The Magic Kings). It is the equivalent of the Santa Claus parade in many Western societies, and because it involves something good for children it carries with it awe and wonderment. It is the most serious event in the country because of the hopes, dreams and expectations of children, and by extension their parents.
The names in Spanish of the Three Kings are Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar, who is a black man. For years a white actor has played the role of Balthazar with black face, but in today's world, with an adequate number of Black people living in Spain the directive is to recruit a black man in the interest of authenticity.
It should be said that to play these roles is a great honour, one which is fiercely sought after and awarded to the most deserving. In the town of Rocafort, which is located close to the main city of Valencia all was in readiness up until the last minute when the person chosen to play Balthazar had to drop out, causing a panic.
On the Tuesday before the parade I was in a shopping Mall when I encountered a mother with an out of control child who, I'm assuming wanted something that his mother would not buy him. He was making a terrible scene and really upsetting his mother, so I moved between him and his mother and stood over him with my hands on my hips and I said, "Soy Balthazar!" The child reacted as though he had been struck by lightening. He ran past me to his mother and held on to her slacks. I wagged my finger at him while making tut-tut sounds of disapproval, and indicating I would keep my eyes on him.
He was ready to cooperate and go with his mother without a sound. The look in her eyes directed to me was to say "I could hug you, while she mouthed "Muchas Gracias!"
The next morning my wife called from work, which woke me up to ask me a favour for her boss. Would I mind playing the role of Balthazar tomorrow? I think I said yes, then went back to bed. After about five minutes I got up again and sat on the bed wondering whether I had actually had a call or was that a dream following on from yesterday. Eventually I realised this was real. I had no idea what would really be involved, so I spent most of the morning on YouTube watching hours of parades all over the country.
There was not much point in me worrying whether my robes would fit me, or whether anything would go wrong. Of course things would go wrong, we would just have to face every challenge as it arose.
Fast forward to the next night, 6pm,5th January, the starting time for the parade. My robes fit perfectly; I had worn the exact appropriate own clothes, including the correct shoes that I was advised to wear just before I arrived. (Just as well I was wearing them.) I don't know the last time I have seen so many children, or felt such overwhelming love and respect. People addressed me as Your Majesty.
Hey! I could get used to that.
We arrived at the main park where we were met by dancing girls and bands and we three were the full focus of attention. And then the love came flooding in as we began the process of giving gifts to a never ending flow of children of various ages. Well, I've run out of words to describe this part of the experience. No wonder so many men fight to get this role. Believe me, it's worth fighting for and absolutely nothing went wrong.
They wanted to pay me for doing this, when I was more than ready to bribe someone ten times as much just to let me do this at least once.
This is one of those experiences in life that should happen to every man at least once in his life. That's so that he will feel touched in a part of his being that he didn't even know existed. That night, I went to bed thoroughly exhausted and I slept the sleep of a very righteous man.
I have been touched for all time, so it would probably be a bad idea to do it again as the first time cannot be duplicated.
Copyright (c) 2017