...Kind of wish I'd never made that Alburquerque joke

Thanks to the ever-reliable French air-traffic controllers, our flight home to Manchester has been CANCELLED. The ever-helpful SleasyJet offered us an alternative flight in just over 48 hours time—to London, not Manchester—but pointedly refused to guarantee that it would actually fly.

So Jen and I are currently sipping free drinks in the business class lounge at Venice Marco Polo Airport, awaiting our hastily booked Lufthansa flights home—via Munich.

Jason Bourne never has to put up with this crap.

We are living in the future.

King of the Road

BBC: Mayor mulls bicycle number plates

Number plates for bicycles are being considered by the mayor [of London] in a bid to improve cycling standards. Ken Livingstone believes bicycles and their owners should be registered so that law-breakers can be caught…

Peter King, chief executive of British Cycling, said only a "tiny minority of cyclists" were at fault of flouting road regulations.

Yeah, right.

I can't see how bike number plates could me made to work without compulsory insurance and licences for cyclists too, but that's probably a damn good idea.

I dare say Irish Mick would disagree. Last week, I learnt that he is no longer Irish Mick, in that he is now living in Manchester. He's got a new job with Sustrans, the sustainable transport (i.e. bike) charity as Co-ordinator of Rangers in the North of England—which is so Tolkienesque, I think I'm going to start calling him Strider.


This is stupid in so many ways:

BBC: Ramp creates power as cars pass

A road ramp that uses passing cars to generate power has been developed.

Dorset inventor Peter Hughes' Electro-Kinetic Road Ramp creates around 10kW of power each time a car drives over its metal plates.

More than 200 local authorities had expressed an interest in ordering the £25,000 ramps to power their traffic lights and road signs, Mr Hughes said.

In other words, these people want to steal your petrol:

These ramps work by converting some of your car's kinetic energy into electrical energy. In other words, they slow down your car to make electricity. You will then have to put your foot down for a few seconds to restore your car to its former speed, wasting petrol in the process. And that's not to mention the wear and tear on your car as it goes over these unnecessary humps.

This is an extremely inefficient and environmentally hostile way of powering traffic lights, but your local authority will love it, because it will cut down on its electricity bills, and because it is anti-car. It's even more anti-bike.

The electro-kinetic road ramp website claims that it generates free electrical energy. Another way to achieve this is to bypass your electricity meter and power your house directly from the National Grid. This is known as abstracting electricity, which is a criminal offence under section 13 of the 1968 Theft Act, and is punishable by up to five years' imprisonment and/or fines of up to £5,000. In what way are these stupid ramps any different? They are stealing somebody else's energy.

Time to write to the Ladyman.