Category Archives: Technology

James Dyson, the saviour of British Industry, does a runner*

Sir James Dyson, the British billionaire inventor and outspoken Brexit supporter who called on the government to walk away from the EU without a deal, is moving the headquarters of his vacuum cleaner and hand-dryer technology company to Singapore. *Dyson … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Politics, Technology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Refurbishing grade one listed buildings in Hackney

The first two years of my seven year apprenticeship was done at Sir Philip Magnus trade and academic school. Looking back at those two years I’m amazed at how much was covered. Our plumbing teacher was called Tom Freeman and … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, History, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The defeat of cholera

New epidemic diseases are always terrifying.1 Cholera arrived in Britain in 1832 when Britain didn’t have a medical-scientific infrastructure to cope. Favoured explanations for cholera were Miasma, (roughly, ‘bad air’), moral turpitude and God’s anger. Victorian Britain’s rationalists looked for … Continue reading

Posted in Health, housing, Politics, statistics, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Alexey Stakhanov: the most famous coal miner in history

  Stalin introduced a whirlwind of industrialisation in a series of Five Year Plans beginning in 1928. These plans centralised control of every part of industrial production. Every mine had productivity targets which had to be met or exceeded. This … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Where is my Tardis?

Posted in Technology, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

People and computers: three jokes

Playing chess against a computer A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. A lightbulb problem Q: How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb? A: None. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Humour, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

A plumbing lesson at Sir Philip Magnus School in 1960

I attended this school from the age of eleven until sixteen (1955–1960). It was a very good school with its students split into two streams: a) for academics and b) for building trades). I was in the ‘b’ stream. My … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, education, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment