Monthly Archives: December 2010

Is de-icing the answer to snow chaos on roads?

Following on from my last article about heated roads the weather shows no signs of improving and our transport system has been badly affected by a modest amount of snowfall and sub zero temperatures. It should be no surprise that our road system grinds to a halt after a snowfall. Our roads are so badly congested even at the best of times that the smallest interruption to the flow of traffic causes chaos. There is no slack in the system to absorb problems like snow or an accident. Even the best laid plans would struggle to deal with the amount of snow that fell in such a short period of time.

What the government now needs to do is investigate what new technologies exist that will keep our roads free of snow and ice. The spreading of salt is too slow an operation as it can take several hours before an affected road is reached by a gritting lorry. What is needed is an instant solution and I have been reading about just a solution. A section of the A2 has been running a trial of a new system designed by Vaisala in Finland. Sensors next to the road can detect the temperature of the road surface and when it drops to zero degrees de-icer is sprayed onto the road from a dispersal system. This winter the trial has gone well apparently but large amounts of snow still need to be moved from the road by a snow plough.

There must be many systems available for keeping our main roads clear of snow and ice which don’t involve a gritting lorry. The sooner that the process starts to find these new systems the better !

Does Alien life Exist ? – Sorry, it doesn’t !

I read a really amazing book recently called The Eerie Silence – Are We Alone in the Universe.

If you are interested in the search for extra terrestrial life then this book draws some very interesting conclusions and is well worth reading. The book starts off by looking at our own world to see if we can draw any evidence about whether the human race might be a one-off  species or whether we might be just one of millions of life forms that throng the universe.

The conclusions of the book are a little depressing because of the authors opinions about whether there might be life on other planets. He also gives a fascinating insight into the future of the human race.

I say depressing because the author is the head of SETI, which stands for “search for extra terrestrial intelligence” so this guy should know a thing or two about the chances of finding  alien life. His conclusion is that he thinks the human race could be alone in the universe. After reading his book he certainly offers compelling evidence that we might well be alone.

Firstly, we have been looking for evidence of alien life for about 50 years. Our technology over the last 10 years has improved greatly to the extent that we can see much further into space that we have even been able to see. So far, all this searching has found not one once piece of evidence that there may be life elesewhere.

Secondly, if you look back at the history of the human race it is a series of accidents that quite possibly could never happen again. The author of the book describes the chances of life emerging as being like a “whirlwind going through a scrap yard and putting together the best aeroplane that ever existed”. I think that is a very good analygy.

If we were to discover radio signals coming from another planet the distances involved are likely to be so great that it would take hundreds of light years to them to reach us and for us to reach them. As we can’t travel at the speed of light yet and probably never will be able to this means it would take thousands of years to travel the distances involved. This poses several problems, of course. By the time we have travelled the distance the life we are trying to reach may well have died but more importantly, we can’t live for that long either !

This is where things start to get interesting because in our quest to seek out new life forms us humans will have to change and this also ties in with the way us humans are evolving. I think that it is clear that humans will evolve artificially. What I mean is that medical science will prolong our lives by genetic engineering and by giving us man made bits of body that don’t wear out. Effectively, this means we will eventually change into machines !

Scientists think that they will be able to download the contents of a human brain onto a computer by about 2030. Already, we have man made limbs. All the body does is do what the brain wants so if you can have a computer as a brain and a man made body then you have a robot. This will lead to humans living longer and more importantly, it will mean that we can travel longer distances in space. This will happen because it is the only way that we will be able to travel the incredible distances involved in deep space travel.

By the year 2100 us humans will be completly different !

Buy the book. It’s excellent !

 

Related Blog Articles

Alone in the Universe

UFO’s seen over the Lake District

In four years we will find aliens say experts

More aliens exist than first thought

World Cup in Qatar !

There must have been deals done by the FIFA executive committee which gave the votes to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup finals. Never can there have been more of an unsuitable place to play football than in this scorching desert country that has never played in a world cup.

Playing football in June and July in Qatar will not be a pleasant experience. Average temperatures in summer reach over 40C but the temperature at midday is over 50C. Most people in Qatar leave the country in summer because it is too hot and dust and sand storms are also a common occurrence.

What is the logic of ignoring those countries that have done so much for football and choosing a country that is too hot and difficult to get to.

Part of the Qatar bid is that they will build the stadiums they need and then dismantle them after the World Cup and build them again in places that need them. So much for a lasting legacy for football in the Middle East.

Heated Roads is the Answer to Snow Chaos

December 2009 and January 2010 were bad winter months for snow and ice here in the UK. This country can’t cope with transport chaos that snow causes. Our roads are over crowded so that when we do get snow cars grind to a halt. Even our trains don’t seem to like snow and our airports even have to close as well.

We spend millions of pounds on gritting our roads and we lose countless millions more in lost production and time off work because we can’t get to work.

Isn’t it about time that a new solution is found ?

Last year I wrote an article about heated roads. The technology is available and I would have thought that as a long term investment it would be worthwhile considering. The government is to have an enquiry about how local authorities have handled the snow situation I hope they also look at ways of avoiding similar situations in the future.

England lose 2018 World Cup

It would have been great if England had won the right to stage the 2018 World Cup but instead it has been awarded to Russia. Does this mean that the so called “Iron Curtain” has lost its final piece ? I watched the England bid live on TV and it was very impressive. Prince William, David Cameron and the rest of the team did a superb presentation. It was very slick and the argument they put forward was very convincing. Maybe it came too late but in the vote England were eliminated in the first round of FIFA voting.

I’m really pleased though that Russia is to host the 2018 World Cup. The World Cup has never been hosted in eastern Europe and this decision will help open up Russia and develop it as a footballing nation. Russia is a country that should be closer to the West as it has the same values. Hosting the 2018 World Cup will hopefully make Russia more open and democratic.

As far as England are concerned it will be at least 20 years before we have a chance to host the World Cup again. Maybe in the meantime England should organise its own mini tournament. After all it is the home of football.