Archive for the ‘Ideas’ Category


In Food & Drink, Gardening, Green issues, Health, Ideas, Social History on 27 February 2012 at 12:54


Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman
that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren’t
good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back
in my earlier days.”

The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not
care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the
store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized
and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they
really were recycled. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a
new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing
away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every shop and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the
throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our
clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their
brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room.
And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?),
not a screen the size of the county of Yorkshire . In the kitchen, we
blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do
everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we
used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic
bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just
to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised
by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills

Facebook by Jan Todd

In Ideas, Networking, Uncategorized on 29 November 2011 at 15:24

I was sitting at my computer, as usual, checking emails and playing games, with friends, Words, that’s my favourite at moment, it’s like scrabble but it takes up so much time, great chunks of the day can pass before you realise it.

You can easily get sidetracked too, one minute your playing a game, then up pops an ad and off you go, just now one popped up for ‘Mohammed- An Arab Rug Trader’, apparently he’s having a closing down sale somewhere in Perth and you can buy one, get one free! Before you know it you are measuring your hallway and looking at colours to blend in with your existing decor.

Then there is all the ‘chat’, one friend always likes to use a lot of those ‘emoticons’, little symbols like smiley faces to express how she is feeling, sometimes it’s a sad face but lately she’s been using a lot of ’squint’ symbols or is it a ‘wink’? With my eyesight I ‘should have gone to specsavers’!

Now I am looking online for a Christmas gift for my Mother-in-law, she’s 80 but said she “would like one of those gold ankle bracelets “of all things! She said she didn’t want me sending flowers by interflora to the UK as usual but says that an ankle bracelet will be nice and light to post. I am not sure if she is aware of the connotations of an ankle bracelet? But at 80 I am sure she must be but still I think she will be safe enough!

I detect a whiff of ‘Old Spice’ aftershave…my husband is entering the room, I must remember to buy him something more alluring for Christmas, ‘Au Savauge’ or ‘  Hugo Boss’. I glance up from the keyboard guiltily. Once again I am back online shopping and before I know it I have ordered and paid for:

3 Aah Bras, extra large.

1 Bottle of ‘Hugo Boss”

1 Bottle of ‘Paris,’ for myself!

1 Gold ankle bracelet.

1 Pink wheelbarrow, for one of my granddaughters.

1 Rocking Horse, for another.

1 Metal detector for my Son in Law.

I look at the time, 3 o’clock and I haven’t even been to the shops yet to get something for dinner.

I’ll just finish this game of Words then I’ll close down and go out. But what’s this? My friend in Canada has sent me a message. She can’t sleep, so would I like a game of “Texas Hold- em Poker!’ I’ve never played before but hey I can learn!



How a Meccano Set Became the Mother of Invention

In Business, Government, Ideas, International Trade, Invention, Social History, Trading, Trevor Baylis on 4 September 2011 at 13:39

“Achievement is more important than qualifications.”

Bob Bluffield meets the inventor Trevor Baylis

The most obscure things can often shape our futures and for Trevor Baylis it was the fortuitous discovery of a deluxe box of Meccano on a rubbish tip while foraging for scrap metal as a young boy in wartime west London. By adding the wide range of pieces to the cherished basic set his father had bought him presented him with the opportunity to extend his creativity. By his own admission, Trevor was not in the least bit academic. He considers that “achievement is more important than qualifications” – a policy he has adhered to throughout his long career without causing himself any undue harm, even though he couldn’t have thought this when he and his mates took every opportunity to bunk off junior school. Instead of class work they preferred to pursue more boyish adventures and during the Blitz there was plenty of opportunity to do just that. They collected shrapnel from the enemy raids of the previous night and bits of scrap that could be sold for smelting to aid the war effort. When they weren’t scavenging, Trevor and his friends were preoccupied with swimming even though this was in the foul smelling effluent water of the nearby Grand Union Canal. After discovering he had a natural ability to float, Trevor became a first class swimmer and by the age of fifteen represented Great Britain, but became disappointed when he missed out on a place in the 1958 Olympics.  When the time came to leave school, Trevor claims he could barely read and write but was offered a job at a soil mechanics laboratory where he had the opportunity to study mechanical and structural engineering on part-time day release.

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