“Ground Breaking Engineering” – Literally

London recently built some new underground tunnels. (Well, recent in terms of the history of London.) They did this by drilling under the city – avoiding all the existing tunnels, water mains, building foundations, etc. – using 8 tunnel boring machines (TBM) from the German firm Herrenknecht AG. (Pronouced “Heron-connect”.)

These machines cut through the rock and clay, removed the material, and build a reinforced-concrete tunnel shell as they go.

The most interesting video on the subject is from Dirty Great Machines (that video is after the break), but since it is 45 minutes or so, I know that most people won’t watch it.

If you are only tied into the hype spread by American media, you might think that Elon Musk developed TBMs, but Herrenknecht has machines drilling tunnels all over the world. Train tunnels, sewer tunnels, all kinds of tunnels. It’s just the infrastructure that makes modern life possible.

Here is a 2 minute video that is sadly very dry, but does manage to be fairly instructive in how these things work.

After the break you will find an episode of the short-lived TV show, Dirty Great Machines, on how TBMs are designed and built, tunnel boring operations in London, and Mexico City. There is also a bit of information on the Roadheader, a smaller machine used in tunneling that can make sharper turns.

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Grenfell Tower Disaster – Two Years On

It’s hard to say who they are painting as the villain, because almost no information has been released. Grenfell investigation: Scotland Yard carries out 13 interviews under caution.

On June 14th, 2017, there was a fire in the publicly owned Grenfell Tower in London. 12 people died. Many were hurt.

Fire fighters initially told people to NOT evacuate. (They didn’t want all those fleeing civilians in their way.) Then the firefighters figured out that they were not going to contain that blaze. In so many ways, this reminds me of Paradise, California.

The city owned the building. The city maintained the building – there was no working alarm throughout the entire building. The city “renovated” the building with materials and in a fashion that would never be allowed by US building codes. Once on fire, the tower went up like a torch. (Click thru for a photo of the blackened hulk.)

Two years, and the investigation is only getting started.

Grenfell Tower info at this link, and Paradise, California info, specifically info on the Camp Fire, at this link. There is a good disturbing photo of the fire at that first link.

The Sad State of Self-defense in The UK

Because you are supposed to rely on the STATE for everything, even your own safety. Even when the state has proven it is completely inept. PLATELL’S PEOPLE: After coroner ruled burglar was lawfully killed by pensioner, why I keep a gun under my bed and why homes must remain our castles.

Two masked men, high on drugs, invaded his home. One was armed with a screwdriver. He grabbed a 12-inch kitchen knife to convince them to leave. One was injured, and died from his injuries.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder, while Vincent’s family and fellow members of the travelling community turned the road outside his house into a Princess Diana-like shrine to their lost ‘brother’.

Osborn-Brooks and his wife have had to leave their home and live in a secret location, with new identities away from friends because Vincent’s community has sworn to avenge his death.

He was acquitted by way of a coroner’s inquest that returned a finding of self-defense, but he and his wife can’t return to their home, because without a decent firearm, and a magazine with enough rounds to handle number of hoodlums that might come seeking revenge…. And the cops are apparently not much help.

Cops Behaving Badly – UK Edition

Bullies in a uniform? Police watchdog investigates officers over claims of racism, misogyny, steroid abuse and sex at Charing Cross police station.

Investigators from the [Independent Office for Police Conduct] are also looking at claims that officers used racist, misogynistic and discriminatory language and perverting the course of justice by deleting messages that were relevant to the criminal investigation.

While there are small number of officers under investigation, in an all too familiar twist, they are also looking into whether or not others knew they were up to no good, and looked the other way.

When Did Giant Balloons Become the Preferred Form of Protest?

I suppose this is in response to the Trump balloon. But the good people of London are not happy with their mayor. Sadiq Khan bikini balloon launched in London.

“Under Sadiq Khan, we have seen crime skyrocket to unprecedented levels. People in London don’t feel safe […] Khan out.”

Both gun and knife crime are on the rise in London, despite Draconian gun control and knife control.

And of course the guy who organized it is being called “Nazi” and “Far-right” because tolerance only flows in one direction.

Knife Attack in London Sends 4 to Hospital

This being the UK, there is damn little info in the press. Quadruple stabbing in London park in latest knife attack within city’s ‘murder mile’ .

Four are in hospital. Witnesses (who universally didn’t want to be identified) said that at least one of the 4, appeared to be very seriously injured.

Scotland Yard said six males were arrested and are being held in custody. The four injured are believed to be teenagers.

That is pretty much the sum-total of the facts handed out by authorities.

In the middle of some prevarication and bit of hand-wringing, Police Superintendent Annmarie Cowley had this to say.

It is beyond comprehension.

File this under, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” The area in question is known as London’s “Murder Mile.” Doing the math from there would indicate that another knife attack is hardly beyond comprehension. Or at least it should be for a police department.

‡ I tried to figure out what Scotland Yard means by Superintendent. More than a sergeant. Less than Chief. Yet another example of the British and the Americans separated by a common language.

Gun Control and Knife Control. Maybe They Should Focus on Criminal Control

Still, New York and London can’t hold a candle to Chicago or Baltimore. London murder rate beats New York for month as stabbings surge | Fox News

The Sunday Times reported 15 people were murdered in London, against 14 in New York. Both cities are very diverse with large populations: London has over 8.7 million residents to New York’s 8.5 million.

Murders in London are up 38 percent since 2014. And that trend isn’t reversing.

Deadly stabbings in England and Wales are now at their highest levels since 2011, rising by 12 percent in the year ending December 2017.

The people who hate guns won’t count those murders because stabbings don’t count when you hate guns.

The UK Independence Party Is Not Happy

And why should they be? The crime rate in London is growing dramatically. Sadiq’s London – Violent Crime Goes Through the Roof

Sadiq Khan’s record on crime in his first year of Mayor is appalling. The rise in violent crime from 2015/16 to 2016/17 is both staggering and frightening, with gun crime up 16%, rape up 18%, knife crime up 31%, murder up 27% and youth murder up by a horrific 70%.

David Kurten AM said, “After stating that ‘low level crimes’ such as car crime and burglary would not be priorities for the Metropolitan Police, theft is up 34% and burglary up 19%.

“Low level crime,” like having your car stolen, is ignored. I don’t know how (or if) UK treats home invasions (someone is home) versus burglary (an empty dwelling). My guess is that they count it in whichever way makes them look best.

London is acid-attack capital of the world, and with the release of these statistics is officially less safe than New York City.

Grenfell Tower Fire in London

A non-political tragedy? Of course not. The Left will forget the roll of government in this disaster, while they blame the eeeeeevil bankers. Or whoever. Grenfell Tower fire in London leaves 12 dead, dozens injured – The Washington Post

LONDON — Through the night and deep into the day, the crackling fire raged, sweeping through apartments , destroying lives, and behaving like an out-of-control inferno from an earlier century, or perhaps from a less affluent part of the world in this one.

But this was London. This was 2017. And this was a fire unlike any seen here in recent memory, a blaze that on Wednesday transformed a 24-story high-rise that was once home to some 500 men, women and children into a charred ruin on the city’s otherwise gleaming skyline.

Allegations that renovations were not up to code, a lack of escape routes and the absence of an integrated alarm system. Add that to the fact that it is public housing and you have a story made explicitly for the 24 hour news vultures.

And while they are bemoaning the eeeeevil bankers the people who died will be forgotten. Mostly. Except in the abstract.

It was government that owned this building. Government that renovated it, and oversaw the maintenance. It was government that ignored the warnings of what was wrong. But you won’t find that in the WaPo article. (They are talking about the folks who live “a short amble” from this disaster, as if it were of their making, and government was innocent and not involved.)