Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

And a National Park Authority does what?

I gave up poking fun at things National Park Authorities (NPA) did years ago.

While I thought the idea was for them to protect the area under their control, they just seemed to make rules to keep themselves in a nice comfy job.

As far as I could see, there seems to be as much development (house building) after they arrived as before – but then again, I was only going by what was reported in the media.

I don’t really want to start that stream up again, but given the horrible big commercial lump parachuted onto the south shore of Loch Lomond, I never expected to see any more development down there.

Then again, maybe I was forgetting that there’s a National Park Authority in place, to limit out-of-place development.

Plans for a new £30m tourist development at Loch Lomond have been unveiled.

The proposals include a 60-bedroom apart-hotel, 32-bedroom budget accommodation, a craft brewery, boat house, leisure centre and restaurants.

There will also be upgrades to public footpaths and green spaces.

It is estimated the Lomond Banks development at Balloch would create 80 full-time jobs, 50 part-time jobs and 70 seasonal roles in the area.

Plans for £30m tourist development at Loch Lomond

Plans unveiled for £30m Loch Lomond tourist development

Plans revealed for £30m Loch Lomond tourist development with hotel, craft brewery and apartments

It’s beginning to make me think of Spain (for example), which apparently used to look nice, and was a great destination for a nice holiday. I don’t know, I’d never go there.

Until it was covered with hotels and bars to ‘Make it better for tourists’.

Reminds me of a little piece I wrote some years ago, suggesting a small theme park near Balloch might not be a bad idea – as I recall, I was not a popular person for even mentioning the thought back then.

Benidorm

Benidorm

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23/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

LNT – Is this the right way to use lighter-than-air craft?

My engineering heart always sinks whenever I see some great new announcement proclaiming that someone has had a brilliant bright idea, and that they’re resurrecting the airship in some way.

The last revelation was Airlander 10, but like most of these giants, it ended up having an accident.

Since day one of this, I always pointed out that if the military (with its budget) didn’t think they could make it work, and dumped it, its chances of civilian success were slim to nil.

Airlander 10 crash-landed after mooring line snagged power cables

I’m willing to go out on a bit of limb and suggest that, with current technology at least, basic physics means that these giants are doomed from the day they are conceived.

I don’t know where the borderline lies, but the basic flaw is that their propulsion systems are limited in relation to their size.

While there is a practical limit to the force they can exert on a relative small amount of air, and impart a controlling force to the craft, as they get bigger and bigger their area (and volume rise rapidly, meaning that the effects of wind and buoyancy rise faster than any of the controlling forces available to the pilot.

The bigger the get, the slower they get, and also the lower the wind speed they can legitimately operate in.

While the financial rewards for smaller craft are less attractive for the big monsters, I’d always maintained they could be more successful if anyone dared downsize developments, instead of continually trying to make these things ever bigger.

It’s almost as if the first thing those involved do is throw all thoughts of ‘Commin Sense’ out the door.

Now, it seems someone has taken that step, and I’ll be interested to see if progress of these smaller craft leave the big monsters in its wake.

Researchers from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) have helped create a revolutionary new type of aircraft.

Phoenix is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to stay in the air indefinitely using a new type of propulsion.

Despite being 15m (50ft) long with a mass of 120kg (19 stone) she rises gracefully into the air.

She looks a little like an airship, except airships don’t have wings.

“It’s a proper aeroplane,” says the UHI’s Professor Andrew Rae.

As the project’s chief engineer, he has overseen the integration of Phoenix’s systems.

“It flies under its own propulsion although it has no engines,” he says.

“The central fuselage is filled with helium, which makes it buoyant so it can ascend like a balloon.

“And inside that there’s another bag with compressors on it that brings air from outside, compresses the air, which makes the aeroplane heavier and then it descends like a glider.”

New aircraft rises ‘like a balloon’

First lighter-than-air aircraft I’ve come across in years that hasn’t made me say “Oh no” at first sight.

UHI Phoenix Via BBC

UHI Phoenix Via BBC

23/04/2019 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

There’s a crocodile hiding under the Charing Cross bridge

I have to confess to being fairly lazy, so when I come to Charing Cross I tend to slide across the footbridge over the road rather than negotiate the multiple pedestrian crossings provided there, or worse, run across the various roads if I can’t be bothered waiting for the elusive little ‘Green Man’ to make an appearance.

I don’t usually approach from Woodlands Road either, so got to see bits of the footbridge which are usually well out of sight for me.

And that’s when I spotted the crocodile.

Since I don’t seem to have come across in any random posts about murals, I’m guessing most have missed it too, and it’s not made its way into any obvious lists either.

Same street artist as the tiger down at the Clyde, near the suspension bridge.

I should also add that it doesn’t look quite as good as this in real life.

Sadly, some moron with a can of paint added their own crap to the work, so I removed it.

Charing Cross Crocodile

Charing Cross Crocodile

23/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Attack of the clones

Although I can categorically state I have NEVER watched any of the TV talent(less) shows, I’m more than aware of various documentaries that have researched the parents (usually the mothers) of the children seen in them, who can be anything from babies upward, and are made up to look like adults to satisfy their parents’ narcissistic mentality.

It’s all pretty nasty stuff, and if the children weren’t their own, would be labelled ‘Child Abuse’.

I couldn’t help but think of this when I looked across Sauchiehall Street the other day, and was exposed to this vision of the clone maker’s finest work.

Sauchiehall Street Clone Walk

Sauchiehall Street Clone Walk

Look at the near identical hair, make-up, and fake tan…

It felt like watching the original Star Trek, and I was Captain James T Kirk looking at the next aliens he was about to encounter.

Clone Army

Clone Army

I guess I’d make a terrible parent (and an even worse mother!) 🙂

23/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | Leave a comment

Is this the last 2018 Christmas tree?

I tidied away my 2018 Christmas tree at the end of January 2019, motivated by the desire NOT to let it run into February.

I’ve got access to some cams in houses on the Continent, and some of them were still sitting on living room table well into March. They don’t seem to bother about taking them down in any sort of hurry.

There was one that sat (lit) in a window in Baillieston for months, so long I changed routes and it could still be there for all I know. I even began to wonder if there was maybe a bod… ah, let’s not go there.

But this one was a bit of a surprise yesterday, somewhere near Park Circus.

Being nosey, I tend to peer in all the basement windows of the tenements in this hilly location – many are business, or nurseries (helping the wealthy spend more time at work here, and get even wealthier 😉 ), but a few are still residential.

I haven’t come across a Christmas tree for weeks, and thought they had all been tidied away – guess I was wrong (yet again).

It’s probably not obvious in this daytime pic, but the lights ARE still lit on this tree.

The last Christmas tree of 2018

The last Christmas tree of 2018

23/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Toothbrushes save lives

Did you know that toothbrushes (maybe toothbrushies in Glasgow) make an ideal substitute for a missing cat mum’s tongue when nursing just-born foster kittens?

Kitten Clings to Her Sister After They Were Found at a School – Foster Home Turns Their Lives Around

23/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

If Dippy the dinosaur had a baby

It would be a miracle, since Dippy’s a well-known to be a boy dinosaur!

And even has a girlfriend in the original Carnegie display.

A few days ago, I saw a little green dinosaur tail disappearing through a door in Kelvingrove – didn’t come back out.

Never saw it before, never saw it since – until today, during the lunchtime organ recital.

Since I couldn’t concentrate on two things at once, I just grabbed a pic whenever mini-Dippy came into view.

Hopefully there’s a decent catch somewhere in there.

Click any image for slightly bigger (there was a processing error).

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

Mini Dippy

23/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

   

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