OK! It’s time for the heavy duty snow removal equipment….

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This is interesting……..

The internet mystery that has the world baffled


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That ‘time’ of year

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Orphan Car Show time….

Sunday September September 22nd,
9:30 am- 4pm. Riverside Park-
“Riverside Park fills with the sounds and smells of 300 automotive oddballs and eccentricities for this festival. Brands that have fallen by the wayside for myriad reasons are celebrated here, and several of the best automotive historians spend the day sharing their knowledge of these forgotten flivvers, which hail from around the globe and span most of the first automotive century.”

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There is still time to make it happen…





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Shefflin sees red as Cork stun Kilkenny in All-Ireland hurling quarter-final

Clare also advance to semis as summer of shocks claims another victim
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Kilkenny’s reign as the kingpins of hurling is over – as Henry Shefflin’s bid to make history ended in a red card fiasco.

Shefflin’s chances of a 10th All-Ireland senior hurling winner’s medal disappeared when he was sent-off in Sunday’s quarter-final defeat to Cork.

The Ballyhale ace was harshly dismissed when he picked up a second yellow card just before half-time in the 0-19 to 0-14 defeat.

Kilkenny never recovered from the loss of their star man in the first game he has started all year after a foot injury.

And while boss Brian Cody had no problem acknowledging that a hungrier and fresher Cork deserved their win, he was critical of the decision to send Shefflin off.

The Cats boss blasted: “As regards yellow cards, it has gone crazy, it has gone mad altogether.
“But if that is the way they want it, that is the way they like it. I have no idea why Henry Shefflin got two yellow cards.

“The second one was so clear to me, there was a Cork player falling down, his hurl was very low and when a player falls, the hurl obviously ends up around his neck.

“But Henry didn’t put the hurl up there. The person put his body down into it. But look I am not going to be complaining about referees or anything else.

“I could have done that for years and I haven’t done it so congratulations to Cork, it was a great win.

“Our lads gave it everything, their spirit was fantastic out there. We kept going to the very, very end.

“Things did not particularly go our way in certain facets of the game but then again we have been successful for a long time now and we are facing now what a long number of counties have faced from us over the years, I suppose.”

Question marks have already been raised over the future of Cody as Kilkenny manager and Shefflin as their star man.

But Cody refused to comment on the future as Kilkenny failed to reach the All-Ireland final for the first time since 2005 and missed the semis for the first time in 16 years.

Cody, who underwent heart surgery earlier in the year, told RTÉ Sport: “I have no idea. Obviously, I don’t come in to today deciding that this is whatever it is. I’ve no idea at all.

“I feel the same as I do every other year about it. I have no idea, there’s no decision made about anything so I won’t even consider it for a long, long time.

“There has been a few ‘ends of eras’ predicted all along over the last number of years and I don’t think eras ever end, to be honest about it.

“If an end of a era means it’s the end of the Kilkenny senior hurling team being competitive at inter-county level I’d say it’s something that shouldn’t be allowed to happen so let’s wait and see.

“There is mileage on some of them legs and there’s not much mileage on others, but a team evolves, a team changes, individuals come and go and the team goes on.”

Cork will now face Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park on August 11th.

Clare will play Limerick in the second semi-final a week later after Davy Fitzgerald’s side beat Galway by 1-23 to 2-14.

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Cork knock off All Ireland champions Kilkenny GAA champions dethroned at Semple Stadium in Thurles

IrishCentral Staff Writer

The game was controversial with Kilkenny legend Henry Shefflin sent off at the end of the first half.

Kilkenny also had a disallowed goal early in the second half and it seems this mighty team, the greatest of all time by most standards. has finally run out of luck. It may also end the era of coach Brian Cody.

Cork’s Pat Horgan scored 0-11 points as Jimmy Barry Murphy’s men completely dominated the opening exchanges and went on to win easily.

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Trevor Baylis: I’ve wound up broke despite inventions

Inventor Trevor Baylis says he faces having to sell his house after failing to make money from his wind up radio and is now calling for the government to step into to protect inventors.

Trevor Baylis
By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent
17 Feb 2013

“I’ve got someone coming around in the next couple of weeks to do a valuation on my house,” says Trevor Baylis, as he walks into the sitting room of his home on Eel Pie Island, in Twickenham, south-west London.

“I’m going to have to sell it or remortgage it – I’m totally broke. I’m living in poverty here.”

Surely not? This is the man whose wind-up radio has sold in millions around the world, and was recently named among the 50 greatest inventions in British history.

The story of Baylis and the clockwork radio he developed in his garden shed in the early Nineties should be a shining example of how British ingenuity can lead to success.

On the walls of his house are nearly a dozen honorary degrees he has since received, a letter he was sent by the Prince of Wales on being awarded an OBE, and photographs of himself with Nelson Mandela.

But as the eccentric 75-year-old inventor shows off the compact home and chaotic workshop he built himself nearly 40 years ago, he grows remorseful.

Despite the apparent success of his wind-up radio and several follow-up products employing similar technology including a torch, a mobile phone charger and an MP3 player, Mr Baylis says he has received almost none of the profits.

Due to the quirks of patent law, the company he went into business with to manufacture his radios were able to tweak his original design, which used a spring to generate power, so that it charged a battery instead. This caused him to lose control over the product.

Now Mr Baylis wants the Government to protect future generations of inventors from suffering a similar fate.

“We are brilliant at inventing but appalling in the way we treat inventors,” he says. “I was very foolish. I didn’t protect my product properly and allowed other people to take my product away. It is too easy to rip off other people’s ideas.

“You have to take someone to court to stop them, but as a lone inventor, you just can’t afford to do that. If they just change the design slightly, then they can claim they have got around the patent.

“The Government needs to stand behind the lone inventor. There needs to be better support to help inventors keep their designs and to help them fight against the big boys.”

Mr Baylis has been lobbying for the patent system to become more robust and to turn the theft of intellectual property into a white-collar crime that carries a prison sentence.

Currently patent infringement is considered to be a civil matter in the UK rather than a criminal matter. According to Mr Baylis, other countries such as the US and Germany provide far greater protection and support to their engineers and inventors.

Next week Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, will sign a new agreement to establish a Europe-wide patent that will cover 25 countries and is aimed at simplifying the process of protecting designs for inventors.

However, in a world of international trade, where products are manufactured on the cheap in countries such as China and imported, the risk of having a design stolen or copied is even greater due to the difficulties in bringing lawsuits and the poorer regulation in these countries.

Even major companies like Apple have suffered from their technology being copied by Chinese firms.

Mr Baylis insists that the Government should make tackling this problem a priority to help bolster the UK economy.

“Even when someone has a bright idea, what tends to happen is that it goes off abroad to China to be manufactured. Once something is being manufactured overseas, then those ideas can be stolen.

“The Government should definitely play more of a role in stopping this from happening. They should offer financial support, advice on developing people’s inventions, and help to keep that manufacturing here in the UK. It would make money for the British economy.”

Over the past nine years, Mr Baylis has been using his own money to help fund a company designed to provide advice to inventors and helping them take their products to market.

But faced with growing financial dire straits, the firm is struggling. Mr Baylis himself now survives by earning money as a motivational after-dinner speaker, but despite clearly loving to talk, even this source of income is now drying up.

As he bustles around his one-bedroom home, Mr Baylis, who is single, tells a torrent of bawdy jokes and one liners.

He built the house, which features its own mooring on the Thames and a five-metre swimming pool in what doubles as his entrance hall, in the 1970s for just £20,000.

He had fallen in love with Eel Pie Island as a young man due to a passion for jazz – in the 1960s the island was famed as a jazz and blues venue. There are now 120 inhabitants on the island and a number of artists’ studios.

Mr Baylis shares his home with Ike, a plump Labrador. On the walls he has a few pictures of his “lady friend”, but it is clear his house lacks a woman’s touch. “I never throw anything away,” he says. “You never know when it might be useful.”

Screws, bolts, pieces of wire, cogs, circuit boards and fuses litter the place. Even old microwave meal trays are put to good use as makeshift drawers for some of his odds and ends.

The garden, which overlooks the Thames, is designed with the simple functionality of a bachelor in mind. There are plastic flowers sitting in pots on top of synthetic grass, the ultimate in low maintenance.

The shell of a classic car he attempted to build in his younger days sits on one side of the garden as a rather extravagant parasol stand.

Running around the outside of the main part of the house is what Mr Baylis calls his “studio”. It is the workshop where he continues to tinker with ideas and build devices using an impressive selection of band saws and lathes.

He has invented more than 250 products, including a shoe that generates enough electricity as you walk to charge a mobile phone, a self-weighing briefcase, and a device that allows the disabled to open jars with one hand.

On the shelves around his workshop are dozens of wind-up radios, torches and other clockwork devices.

He still has the original prototype of the wind-up radio he first built back in 1991 after watching a television programme about the spread of Aids in Africa.

By allowing people to access the air waves – and therefore information – in remote areas of the continent where there was no electricity, he hoped it could help tackle the spread of the disease by allowing advice about contraception to reach everyone.

An ugly black box with a large metal key in the back, the original prototype ran for just 14 minutes before needing to be wound up again, but over time the efficiency improved and the product became slicker.

In 1995, following an appearance on Tomorrow’s World, he set up Baygen Power Industries before the company was renamed Freeplay Energy.

It was at this point that the design began incorporating cheap rechargeable battery technology and his involvement ceased. Freeplay has gone on to sell more than three million wind-up radios, with that number growing every day.

John Hutchinson, chief technology officer at Freeplay, said Mr Baylis had voluntarily sold his shares in the company and that technology had moved on, leaving his original patent outdated.

He said: “Freeplay developed its own technology and by 2000 no more clockwork radios were made. The method was to use human power to recharge a battery. Trevor sold his shares in the company and the now outdated patent was incorporated into Freeplay.”

Earlier this year the wind-up radio was named by the Radio Times as one of the 50 greatest British inventions of all time, along with the steam engine, the television, the jet and the world wide web.

Now Mr Baylis, a former professional swimmer and stunt performer, contents himself with soaking in the hot tub he has built in his garden every morning and taking Ike for long walks.

But he fears that he may have to sell his beloved home as debts begin to mount. Other properties on the island have sold for up to £400,000.

He has also been offered £80,000 for his treasured Jaguar E Type, which he keeps locked away from the elements in a garage.

“I don’t want people looking at me and thinking how sad it is that I am now living in poverty,” he says. Instead he wants his situation to be a cautionary tale. “If people are not going to be rewarded for their inventions, then why should they invent at all. This nation was built on inventions and manufacturing.

“People like James Dyson have done very well, but not many of us have all the business skills we need to bring a product to market.

“Students need to be taught about intellectual property in schools and the Government needs to have people who have themselves invented working for them.

“We need to value inventors, otherwise more will end up with nothing.”

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Take a deep breath


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Scientists uncover mystery of ball lightning

By ABC Science Online’s Darren Osborne

Updated Sat Oct 13, 2012

A team of Australian scientists believe they have uncovered the cause of one of nature’s most bizarre phenomenon – ball lightning.
Ball lightning is typically the size of a grapefruit and lasts up to 20 seconds.
“Ball lightning has been reported by hundreds of people, for hundreds of years and it has been a mystery,” said CSIRO scientist John Lowke, lead author of a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres.
Previous theories have suggested microwave radiation, oxidising aerosols, nuclear energy, dark matter, antimatter, and even black holes as possible causes.
One recent theory suggests burning silicon that has been vaporised by a lightning strike.
To unravel the mystery Mr Lowke and colleagues at the CSIRO and the Australian National University, turned their attention to reports of ball lightning forming near windows.
“There are many observations of ball lightning appearing from a glass window either in a house (or) in the cockpit of an aircraft,” he said.
“If it’s burning silicon, how did it come in?”
After hitting the ground and lighting the sky, lightning strikes leave behind a trail of charged particles, or ions. In most cases, these positive and negative ions recombine in a split seconds. Any remaining ions travel down to the ground.
Mr Lowke’s theory is that some of these ions can accumulate on the outside of non-conducting surfaces such as a window.
“These ions pile up and produce an electrical field which penetrate the glass,” he said.
Mr Lowke says the field gives free electrons on the inside of the window enough energy to knock off electrons from surrounding air molecules, as well as release photons, creating a glowing ball.
Recreating it in the lab
“This is the first paper which gives a mathematical solution explaining the birth or initiation of ball lighting,” Mr Lowke said.
He says the next step is to use the theory to replicate ball lightning in the laboratory. That may still prove difficult, as it would require equipment capable of producing 100 million volts.
But a ball lightning event seen by a former US Air Force pilots suggests another approach.
While flying a C-133A cargo plane from California to Hawaii, former Lieutenant Don Smith saw two horns of Saint Elmo’s fire appear on the plane’s randome (radar cover).
“It looked as if the airplane now had bull’s horns…they were glowing with the blue of electricity,” he said.
“[It] was driven by ions from the aircraft radar operated at maximum power during a dense fog.”
One aspect of ball lightning that the study did not tackle is the loud bang that can occur at the end of a display.
“About a third of the sightings end in a bang,” Mr Lowke said.
“[It may be that] the electric field tends to heat the gas and the whole thing takes off getting hotter and hotter and hotter and the bang is caused by the expansion of the gas.”
But he says that is just speculation and is happy to leave that for another study.

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