Wednesday 6 June 2012

Some Lessons to Learn

from "The Times" re yesterday's "Horizon"
fbb does not claim to have a great deal of astronomical expertise, but there is a just a remote possibility that looking out for the transit of Venus across the face of the sun at 11pm last night would be somewhat disappointing, here in the UK. As indeed it was. The correct time was between first light and approx 0530 this morning (Wednesday).

It's not just Public Transport publicity that, erm, leaves a little to be desired!
Due to a quirk in "blogger" or (more likely) fbb's incompetence, some blogs over the weekend were wrongly dated. For those utterly desperate not to miss any pearls of wisdom that spill from the lips of the chubby one, the definitive list (with associated links) is given here:-
Saturday : Has Anyone Here Seen Kelly? (read again)
Sunday : Delightful Description of Durlston (read again)
Monday : Blissful Childhood Nostalgia? (read again)
Tuesday : More on Mastin Moor (read again)
And today follows on from Saturday ...
Can You Speak Manx Gaelic?
Vannin is the equivalent of "Isle of Man" but the rest is tricky. Maybe we should start with something more simple?
Still a puzzle? Let's go simpler still.
And this one makes a fourth clue.
With a bit of imagination, you might guess at "Raad" as being "Road"; in which case "Yiarn" might just sound like "Iron" thus we have "iron road" or, of course "railway". Then, if you know that there are three separate railways on the Island, you can piece together the clues. So the translation of the bottom three, reading down, must be ...
Railway Electric Isle of Man
Railway Isle of Man
Railway Snaefell
... and you can put the words into a more conventional order. Which leaves the top one as:-
Bus Service Isle of Man (actually "service-bus")
Actually, fbb has never read or spoken a single word of Manx Gaelic but has the benefit of the front cover of ...
... the 2012 timetable with translations included!
And what a cracker of a timetable it is, too.

Firstly, there are stonkingly excellent maps ...
... with a series of town service enlargements. Then, of course, there are the timetables which at first glance might appear a bit on the complicated side. But this complication is mitigated by the imaginative use of vertical stripes matching the colours of the heading background.
This is a wonderfully simple idea which really does guide the user to the correct service number.

All three railway lines are detailed.
Alan (Northampton) went on a tram driving "course" and even that is shown.
Needless to say, there are adverts but they do appear both professional and informative. fbb is particularly interested in fish and chips!
It's all very impressive in printed form.

The equivalent web site is equally impressive with a couple of caveats. There appears to be no route/service number index online; which means that you need to know where you No 7 goes before you can find the timetable. Disappointing.

fbb searched hard and long for a downloadable copy of the whole timetable booklet, surely available somewhere? Indeed it is, but fbb only came across it by accident. Alongside each timetable page is this little icon ...
... which doesn't mean "save". It delivers a PDF of the full timetable. fbb is not sure whether it is supposed to but it does! And it takes a long time to download. Yawn! But then fbb is at the end of a very thin broadband string.

All transport on the Isle is state run, none of this privatisation nonsense there; which would explain why information is, unusually,  comprehensive and comprehensible. 

Possibly the best ride, especially on a clear day, is the Snaefell Mountain Railway but it all looks jolly good.
And for the record ...

The Isle of Man  is a self-governing Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom The head of state is currently Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. The island is not part of the United Kingdom, but its foreign relations and defence are the responsibility of the UK Government. Although the United Kingdom does not usually interfere in the island's domestic matters, its "good government" is ultimately the responsibility of the Crown (that is, in practice, the Government of the United Kingdom).
... and its Three legged flag symbol ...
... is an example of a triskelion design which, in general, shows three interlocked items in a spiral form. The three legs are of Celtic origin and represent forward motion in three distinct areas which could, for example, be "mind", "body" and "spirit".

Interestingly (?) a similar motif is used on the flag of Sicily.
So now you know.

P.S. First have used multi-coloured columns for their 387 timetable from Poole.
The idea might catch on; but forget pink, it just strains.

 Next Blog : Thursday 7th June 


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