the first borisbus running on route 38 in london



This first of the New Bus 4 London has been running for a while on route 38. Like the old Routmaster, now withdrawn from service, one can hop on and off at the rear but on this new bus there are doors in the centre and at the front as well.. More are on order and due to be delivered in April 2013. This fulfills a commitment made by Boris Johnson during his successful campaign to become mayor of London. This new bus is a hybrid drive, using an electric motor normally running from a battery charged by a diesel generator and also energy from regenerative braking. This type of energy conserving system is used in F1 motor sport as KERS (kinetic energy recovery system). Some cars also use regenerative braking, for example the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight to economize on fuel use.

two london icons of different generations



It is strange to think that there was a revolving restaurant open to the public (one rotation every 34 minutes) at the top of the Post Office Tower as it was then known. When it opened in 1964 it was the highest building in London (and the UK) at 189 metres. Now known as the BT Tower it is higher than St Paul’s which had previously been the highest building in London since 1710 at 111 metres . The BT Tower was built as the central hub of the UK telecommunications network.

Now The Shard is London’s highest building having been completed in 2012. It is the tallest building in the European Union at 304 metres.

So the speed of change accelerates, and an even higher building is in the planning stages at La Défence, Psris.

Photos geoff clements

lascaux III exhibition in chicago 20 march to 8 september

This beautiful and haunting exhibition of some of the prehistoric wall paintings from Lascaux in France are a must see. At the Field Museum Chicago until 8 September.


the arms trade: $10 is spent per person in the world each year on conventional arms. links to resources

The BBC news has stated that $70 billion is spent on the conventional arms trade each year. This was true in 2010 and the budgets have increased since then. Basically it is the rich countries manufacturing and selling most of these arms.

If the global population is 7 billion, that makes it $10 per person in the world, and rising each year that is spent on conventional arms.

Given that over half the world’s population earns less than $1 a day and that we have finite resources on the planet, does this make sense? The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs is meeting this week to try to broker a treaty to reduce this spending. It is getting little publicity because there are so many other news stories running.

Here are some facts and figures:

Amnesty International have published a beginner’s guide:

Which 5 countries buy the most armms?

World military spending is increaind rapidly:

Which 5 countries manufacture the most arms?

Categories of weapons:

World military spending on arms is increasing:

See ‘good news on arms control treaty

kings cross station


kings cross station

the beginning and the end of many journeys.
to the remoteness of the glens in winter,
home to mother and to sweetheart from the war,
transfiguration of the countryside by iron and steam.

the drudging daily commute to work and back again.
Where now people’s fantasy becomes reality
and readers can journey with the characters
back to school in the train they dream about.

the meeting of loved ones in expectation.
for some the jouney of their life was ended,
taken by the stair down to their death below
into the raging fire that consumed them all.

the busy shopper loaded down with parcels,
the languid lady waiting for her lover,
the old man who remembers far too much.
now renewed and linked to foreign parts.

geoff clements