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Showing posts from January, 2019

A mischievous bit of me wants a hard Brexit

So it's all unfolding as expected. The UK has declared itself in competition with the EU who can't afford for us to succeed. Obvious and predicted. Here . Here . Here . And here . Now we're faced with a compromise that is neither in nor out - and with none of the benefits of either - and kicking the same can down the road regarding issues that can't be resolved today, so will never be resolved (Irish border, Gibraltar, Cyprus even, etc), or a hard exit where we trade under WTO terms and citizens outside their country of origin (Brits in the EU and EUs in the UK) will have to rely on compassion (or more likely incompetence) to remain where they are. The likely scenario is that parliament rejects the 'deal', Brussels refuses to change any of it, and we're left with a hard exit or... a People's Vote to end this madness... or will it? Ignoring for the moment that we are a very divided nation that being either in or out won't resolve, what are the pos

Notebooks are Bonkers. Who Knew?

Most of us lead pretty complicated lives. We juggle work, social, play, relaxation and panic as best we can to achieve successes ranging from survival (ideally) to ecstatic amazement at our achievements – and all points between. Rarely does everything neatly fall into place precisely when it’s meant to. My life is no different from most, a chaotic combination of serendipity and attempts at using structures and disciplines to prevent me becoming overwhelmed. I muddle through. When I had a proper job, I had tasks assigned to me, I developed To-Do lists and I adopted the Urgent/Important prioritisation matrix to decide which tasks to tackle first: … which you can read more about here . But there was a catch. My lists and prioritisation techniques were defined by time . When should I do what? And in order to do most of the stuff in my lists, I needed information… and a lot of that information was in handwritten notes, recorded in the most haphazard way possible – sequentially.

Steam Injection into IC Engines to Suppress Knock - my University Thesis Discovery in 1976

Somehow, about 45 years ago, I was accepted into University College London (UCL) to study Mechanical Engineering. My A Levels were Maths, Physics and Chemistry, because I was less worse at these subjects than I would have been had I chosen others. Put them into a subject mincer, sprinkle on single-minded paternal advice (my dad was a great engineer), and out popped Mech Eng as my passport to a career. It wasn't long before I realised that I was never going to be a career engineer, but I persevered and scraped into my final year where I encountered two novel features of the UCL course. Firstly that I could choose to add subjects that had little to do with engineering - so I studied stuff like Law, Psychology and the History of Technology. And secondly I had to do a dissertation on a project proposed by one of my professors. The project I chose was titled "Steam injection into an internal combustion (IC) engine to suppress the onset of pre-detonation with unleaded fuel".