Car For Sale

Champagne and soft tops could get you into a pickle, even in 1905!

Fun is the Key

Get the best out of life, try and make everything fun. Time is precious so do your very best to enjoy every minute and make other people happy.

Stop the Train!

The Chilterns lie to the northwest of London and comprise some of the most beautiful countryside in England, with fine oak woodlands and rolling hills. Last March the previous government announced that a new high speed rail link costing £30 billion would be built to Birmingham and would eventually be extended through the Lake District to Scotland. The trouble with high speed trains is that to go fast they need to travel in a straight line and therefore destroy the landscape without remorse. The impact is not limited to the immediate area of the line either, just listen to the noise of this German train entering a tunnel at 186mph:

The really galling thing about this plan is that our existing trains are quite fast already; overcrowded, smelly and inefficient, but not slow. What we really need is not faster trains but more trains and more regional services. the last thing we want is the wholesale destruction of our precious countryside in pursuit of an unnecessary service. If we have so much money to spare then let’s put it into regenerating the regions this train is planned to serve. Just having a faster transport link will do little to breath life into the struggling West Midlands. Our new government has said it wants to involve people in major  decisions so let’s see if we really can make a difference, act now!

What you can do if you are opposed to the planned high speed rail link to Birmingham:

  • Write to your MP.
  • Write to the Secretary of State at the Department for Transport.

You’re Nicked!

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Everone has heard of NASA, but how many people have heard of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the trail-blazing agency which has made by far the greatest global contribution to space exploration?

The JPL Headquarters, Pasadena, California.

Employing more than 5,000 staff  and around 3,000 contractors, JPL is the planning and construction centre for all American unmanned space flights. Originally founded in 1936 to undertake rocket research, the agency merged with NASA on its foundation in 1958, and since then JPL has been responsible for designing, building and managing  countless space exploration missions  including probes to Mars, Venus and Mercury, and now onward  beyond  the edge of interplanetary space. By far the most famous of their projects is the Voyager  programme , two spacecraft were launched in 1977 on a four year mission to the outer planets and are still sending back important data 33 years later.

To see the latest information on the flights, click on the Voyager Mission badge below:

The Golden Records on board both Voyager spacecraft carry a greeting to any form of life, should that be encountered. The message is carried by a phonograph record – a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University. Dr. Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages.

The JPL main website has a mass of information about all their missions, including wonderful photographs, videos and multimedia programs for all ages. Just click on the logo to take a look:

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