Saturday 2 December 2023

Isn't Technology Wonderful?

How Did We Manage Without It?

In 2023 we are blessed with loads of technology at the front of a bus and in the so-called "back office". Technology is for ever evolving and the humble ticket machine is now a Sophisticated computer and printer all in one.
How things have changed for the better? Or maybe for the more expensiver?

 B edford  B us

But we did manage without hundreds if points worth of technology. fbb has written previously about his routine journey from Little Billing Church to Northampton Grammar School, often on a duplicate, and regularly Yorks' Bedford OB, HMS Cumberland. This was one of a significant fleet of that marque.

The driver had a steering wheel, a couple of dials, a gear lever, three foot pedals and a handbrake. Seemples.
For ticket issuing he had a Bellgraphic machine ...
... where you wrote the fare and the stage on a paper ticket which the machine issued, keeping a carbon copy for the driver to reconcile with his cash at the end of his duty. Seemples.
Rover tickets? Season tickets? Of course not!

There are many OBs in preservation snd many model versions to enjoy.

Most models are to OO scale (1:76) ...
... but Corgi Classics were 1:50.
These are available "pre-owned" in various liveries. But the daddy of them all was the Sunstar OB at 1:24 scale - i.e. BIG!
The Yelloway model is of a real bus ...
... and the model's detail is exquisite. The door slides (manually, operated by passengers in real life - especially fbb if he coul bag the seat) ...
... and you can see the clock (non working). The driver's cab door opens ...
... as does the bonnet to reveal the engine!
And here is the driver' cab seat from which Yorks'' Doug would sell the tickets with bag and machine on the floor beside him.
Note that the real cab (further above) has had some extra gubbins added; the model is in as-delivered format! Seemples. Oh yes; the roof slides open as well.

fbb never remembers Doug opening the roof on his way to school.

 B ase Tunnel
In recent years, there has been a bit of a craze in opening tunnels right at the base of mountain ranges. Whereas in times gone by, such long excavations were beyond tunnelling technology and cost, but now, zapping a tunnel through the bottom of a mountain rather than building a line half way up then digging is cost effective. If you want to run high speed trains on straightish track it is the only way to go.
The new line provides a high speed link with the Asturias region in the north west of Spain
The mountain range gets in he way meaning that the now-superseded "classic" line is slow and "wiggly" (to use a technical term!).
The line was due to open in 2010 (!!) but geological difficulties and, of course, Covid have led to a massive delay. But it opened with due ceremony on 30th November.
The tunnel is 28 km long.

 B elief and a  B ook
Belief is a weird word.

There is often debate in the infant school classroom as to whether your mates "Believe in Father Christmas". It was Cedric Tipler who revealed to a youthful blog author-to-be that "it's your dad!" No surprise there as the idea of delivering a sack of prezzies down every chimney in the UK, let alone the world; delivering them all from a sleigh hauled by flying reindeer and delivering them all at midnight; all seemed somewhat implausible.

There was also the problem of drinking millions of glasses of milk and eating millions of mince pies.  

Thomas Nast, an American political cartoonist, who illustrated the poem "It was the Night Before Christmas", solved the problem of tubby santa and small chimneys.
Santa was a little gnome!

But that is the trouble with Belief. Whether you believe or not doesn't change anything.

"I believe in Father Christmas" or "I don't believe in Father Christmas" has no effect on whether Father Christmas is real ot not.

"I believe in God" or "I don't believe  in God" has no effect on whether God is real or not.

A committed Christian will rely less on raw belief and more on hard evidence, the evidence of history. Faith is very different from Belief.

This part of the ABC blog will be following the "book" (greek, "biblos" = Bible) to what comes BEFORE  CHRISTmas , what happened AT  CHRISTmas , amd what follows AFTER  CHRISTmas .
A good Bible is bright, in English that we can all understand and, preferably with lots of pictures!
The guy in the silly hat really, really didn't like the frogs.
 Next C of A B C blog : Sunday 3rd December 

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