Tag Archives: leeds

High Speed rail… it’ll be here in 20 years time…

There’s wasn’t much feedback on yesterday’s ‘blog post, however, I’m advised that Andy Murray himself actually read it and found it fairly amusing – apparently on reading one of my jokes, his face lit up into a frown…

Anyhow, whilst Murray can hit serves at 130 miles per hour, that’s nothing compared to the trains on the High Speed 2 rail network which will be able to reach speeds of up to 250 miles per hour – making it the second fastest thing in the UK after Gary Glitter running to hide his laptop under his bed when he sees a police car driving down his road.

It’s envisaged that the whole network will become functional by 2033 – although somehow I can’t see the engineers getting everything ready by just after half past eight in the evening. Whilst I may have got the wrong end of the stick there, it is quite ironic that a ‘high speed’ railway line will take over 20 years to build.

It’s also hoped that the High Speed 2 line will be operational by the time that a final decision has been made in respect who will run the West Coast Mainline franchise – something which was First a bit of a joke and is now Virgin on being an absolute farce…

The route for the line will see if go from London to Birmingham and then branch off to Manchester via Crewe and Leeds via Sheffield. It’s easy to say that the high speed line is a waste of money – however, I’d say that anything that gives you 3 routes out of Birmingham travelling at 250 miles per hour must surely be a good thing?

There’s a huge amount of criticism because of the cost of the entire project as well. With it costing an estimated £33billion, it’s hardly a surprise to see why – although if they’d have paid for it using a young person’s railcard, then it would have only cost around £22billion. To be fair as well, the whole project would cost around £5billion, but the bloke who drew up the budget bought a coffee on the 9:35 from Paddington Station whilst doing some research and he has reclaimed the cost on his expenses…

Many people have complained about the High Speed 2 line, with people commenting that the project is already running behind schedule (which must be frustrating as they only have about 7,300 days to turn things around). That said, surely being behind schedule is an integral feature that is engrained into the fabric of the UK rail network?

But for all the criticism, there is an upside, “it will strengthen Leeds’ position as the northern transport hub, and unlock major investment, jobs opportunities and connectivity to the rest of the country,” is Keith Wakefield, the leader of Leeds City Council said. And, “it will strengthen Wakefield’s position as the northern transport hub, and unlock major investment, jobs opportunities and connectivity to the rest of the country,’ is what Keith Leeds, the leader of Wakefield City Council said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also stressed the importance of everyone maintaining their focus on the north-south divide in our economy… he’s hoping that whilst everyone’s distracted, he can go back on another one of his election promises…

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WOWS News Round Up January 28th 2013

The route of the new high-speed train network linking Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds is announced
The transport secretary has announced the route which apparently stop at 5 stations. The route was actually supposed to be announced a couple of weeks ago but instead the announcement was delayed due to a shortage of staff, it was then cancelled until further notice and then they decided to do the announcement on a replacement bus service instead. There has been a lot of criticism of the proposed route due to the fact it cuts through the picturesque country side – by this we don’t think they are referring to Birmingham. The Department For Transport has claimed the new high-speed rail will reduce journey times by half which is good because that means we will only be stuck on the platform for half an hour rather than a full hour.

French troops have taken control of Timbuktu airport in Mali
French led troops who are fighting in Mali against Islamist rebels have taken control of the airport in key city Timbuktu. This is quite an achievement as we have always been led to believe Timbuktu was impossible to get to. Imagine the instructions to the troops. “You must get from here to Timbuktu”. That particular phrase has commonly been used in the past to describe a very, very far away location, virtually impossible to get to. So the fact that the troops have managed it is great. Although the fact that there is an airport in Timbuktu probably suggest that it’s not that impossible to get to and perhaps they should re-work the phrase. Possibly to “from here down to the next junction on the M62” would nowadays be a more appropriate phrase as the M62 is more impossible to conquer in terms of travel.

Iran claims it has sent a monkey into space

Iran is claiming that it has successfully flown a monkey into space and back and takes Iran one step closer to achieving a manned space flight. Obviously Iran is quite far behind the likes of the US and Russia but it is a great achievement for them. In comparison to our British achievements Iran sending to a monkey into space is about the same as the UK’s David Beckham finally learning how to tie his shoe laces or David Cameron remembering to take his young daughter home from the pub. The last achievement for the UK involving a primate and space was quite recently when Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney volleyed a shot over the crossbar out of Old Trafford and into space which hit a man called Felix who was stargazing, this resulted in Felix losing his balance who then fell 20 odd miles from his rocket.

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You’ve Got to Hand it to Him…

A former pub landlord (presumably not Al Murray) became the first man in the UK to receive a hand transplant following an 8 hour operation in Leeds – hopefully at one of their hospitals, but you never know.

I can only imagine that the former landlord had been drinking when he came up with the idea, but nonetheless the surgeon who conducted the operation should be given a pat on the back… and a big hand…

The operation was conducted once a suitable donor had been found, which happened around Christmas time and led to the former landlord been given the unusual Christmas present of a hand transplant – which surprised him, because he’d only asked for some socks and a DVD…

The surgeon then amputated the recipient’s hand and attached the donor hand in an operation that he described as ‘quite challenging’ – the understating surgeon in question then continued and described Usain Bolt as ‘fairly fast’ and Justin Bieber as ‘a bit annoying’.

I don’t know a massive amount about organ donation (I don’t have one, but if I die then my piano is available) and I am happy for my body to be mashed up and used in kebab meat in the event that I pass away – in my wallet I carry one of those doner cards…

But in all seriousness, whilst you can sign-up to be a donor of your kidneys and your liver, I don’t recall seeing the tickbox asking you to donate a hand – so quite how the donor ended up quite literally ‘giving someone a hand’ is beyond me…

That said, the former pub landlord isn’t the first person in the world to undergo this operation as it has been done in other countries previously – in 1986, Diego Maradona underwent a transplant and the Hand of God was fused onto his wrist.

In addition, in Australia during the early 1990’s the hands of a koala were mistakenly transplanted onto a human – the recipient was fuming and said he would personally track down the surgeon and kill him… with his bear hands if needs be…

Whilst the above joke is all a bit of ‘armless fun; it should be worth noting that the whole operation involved connecting up the donor/recipient bones with metal plates and then connecting up the blood vessels, tendons and nerves – so it’s a bit like rewiring the world’s most complicated and blood-drenched plug.

Hopefully the transplant for the former landlord will be a success and apparently the early signs are strong. This hasn’t always been the case as the first recipient of a hand transplant later had the hand removed after he claimed that it felt like a dead man’s hand – which is a fair point given that it probably was.

There were also accusations that by having the hand removed the recipient was sticking 2 fingers up at the pioneering surgeon – something which the recipient denied… as he wasn’t able to do that…

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