Archive for It’ll end in tears

Great Units of Our Time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 31, 2013 by awickerman

While I realise I may have just led a sheltered life I have never before come across a unit of measurement that combines two units from entirely different systems into one contradictory whole, until today. For today I came across the acre millimetre, which quite obviously is the volume required to fill a one acre area up to a depth of one millimetre.

There was, of course, the acre inch or the hectare millimetre available, but luckily the author spurned these options and instead chose to take the gloriously unconventional path. Truly it enlivened an otherwise deadly dull report, though admittedly at the cost of making me question every other number in the document.

This marvellous unit was topped when, while looking for similarly odd unit combinations, I can across a petition against the Jispa Dam quoting the dam’s capacity as 0.6 million hectare feet of water, which is a truly outstanding unit which will mean nothing to people who think in either system. Only those conversant in both will have a feel for it, and they are probably the people who’d most prefer it if the two weren’t mixed. Truly a triumph of number wrangling.

A minor design fault

Posted in Engineering, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, Tenuous Link of the Day, Tunnels, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2011 by awickerman

Are you worried your house will fall into the Crossrail tunnels? Are you concerned Crossrail 2 (the Chelsea to Hackney Line) will mean your house has to be destroyed? Terrified that the bits on the end of Crossrail may end up being connected to the rest of the railways through your house?

Well worry no more! The Crossrail safeguarding team will tell you so your vague worries can crystallise into actual terror, all through the medium of a handy web based search.

There is but one minor flaw, as far as I can tell it only shows a result if your property is in or close to the limits, everyone else in Central London gets this message;

“Sorry, we couldn’t find your postcode.”

Which really doesn’t help. Admittedly I believe this message actually means “You are outside the safeguarded routes so will be fine”, but that’s only because I already know where those routes are. A nice idea, let down by someone buggering up the error handling I suspect.

This feature is not available for High Speed 2, mainly because there is no safeguarded route for HS2. There is no safeguarded route because people still haven’t decided quite where it’s going. But worry not, there is a giant pot of money knocking about for the ‘Exceptional hardship‘ of someone possibly building a giant high speed railway nearby. Of course when (if?) anyone finally picks a route, and decides which bunch of home owners in the Chilterns to forever offend, this scheme will close and be replaced by the standard compensation scheme. So hurry now to claim your money, the properly thought out not-exceptional compensation scheme is far less generous.

Basic Errors in Recruitment #8

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Engineering, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming with tags , , on November 15, 2010 by awickerman

This afternoon was enlivened by a call from a slave trader today offering the usual riches, the usual chat where he implied if only I moved I could have a harem peeling grapes for me. After a quick phone call he sent a follow up email which promptly got eaten by the spam filter, I only found it by accident while giggling at the ‘Enliven your amorous torpedo!’ spams.

If even a specific follow up email gets tagged as spam I fear I may not be dealing with the world’s most reliable recruiter. I’m braced for being told there will be an upfront ‘handling fee’ or some such shite. Still it passes the time at work and that’s the main thing.

Death and Taxes

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Rantings, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by awickerman

A random post about the US. Not living in the country, or indeed being that bothered about it, on the subject of US healthcare reform my indifference is almost boundless, if only BBC News shared that attitude.

However this story did get a reaction from me, mainly one of ‘thank Buddha on a tricycle I don’t live there’. The idea of the tax man being involved in health care is a terrifying one, almost as bad as the idea of using doctors to run the tax service in fact. As the article (almost) says a fair and compassionate tax man is an entirely mythical beast, which bodes ill for anyone getting ill in America in the next few years.

Still at least when you die in hospital because the tax man has sent you forms instead of medicine you will know you’ve died in a tax efficient manner. There’s the added bonus that the tax man can get right on to applying inheritance tax to your estate instead of waiting to be told your dead. Sure that does mean there’s a double perverse incentive for the tax man to kill people not cure them (saving money and getting to tax your grieving relatives¬† early) but I’m sure they’ll be fair and compassionate…¬† Oh hang on.

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