Monday, 23 March 2009

Canary Wharf Travel Apocalypse

At least 90,000 people work in Canary Wharf every day. Only 25% of them live in the surrounding 5 boroughs. That means that the rest of them have to travel quite far to get to this simmering hell-hole.

However, there is exactly one Underground stop and line that goes there. The Jubilee line. Many of those 90,000 workers come from South-West London, since one of the reasons that the Jubilee line travels the way it does is to be just as convenient for the ex-City workers as the Waterloo & City line ("The Drain") many used to take to work. The Jubilee Line sucks though. It fails. A lot. And when it does fail, here's the sequence:

  1. Travellers from South-West Trains get to Waterloo and are held outside the ticket barriers due to overcrowding on the platforms. During this time, the Jubilee Line has "Good Service."
  2. Eventually, they will finally acknowledge that the Jubilee line has problems (for example, this morning and Friday morning they shut it down completely during rush hour).
  3. Somewhere in between the two, there will be a rush to the Waterloo & City line so that people can transfer to the DLR, the only other form of mass transit that goes to the simmering stink-hole that is Canary Wharf.
  4. Too many people will start interchanging at Bank station rather than just exiting it, leading to
  5. An evacuation of Bank Station due to overcrowding, leading to
  6. The Waterloo & City line getting shut down, leading to
  7. Everybody stuck precisely where they are.

Yep, that's right, when the Jubilee line has a hiccup, nobody gets to work in the City.

Who in their right mind allowed Canary Wharf to go in with a single tube line and no redundancy in any form in transport, and then to just keep expanding to no end? Whoever it was was an idiot.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Vatican Is On Crack

Just to be clear of current Vatican Doctrine:

  • 9-year-old girl is raped by her step-father;
  • Doctors don't believe she's capable of carrying *twins* to term without threatening her life;
  • Aborting the fetuses or assisting or advising the abortion warrants excommunication;
  • Raping a 9-year-old girl and getting her pregnant with twins doesn't warrant excommunication.
I have no other commentary.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Living With The NHS Rocks

So I was just watching Random TV (meaning US-based drama shows, to which I'm still addicted, 5 years on), and on came an ad (which I had already seen) about identifying the symptoms of a stroke victim to get immediate action so that you minimize the damage that the stroke might do (and as we all know, time means everything when dealing with a stroke).

Could anybody do that in the states? Not bloody likely. The best you'd get is some ad for a drug that has nothing but happy old people wandering through a field of flowers saying "call your doctor for more information on Strokivius." There's no single agent that has enough pull, or enough interest in the general welfare of everybody watching TV, to advertise things like that. I mean, Readers Digest might do it in their generic "Old People Who Still Read This Health Section," but nobody who's going to attempt to target all residents.

I'm not going to claim that the UK is a Single Payer Paradise (I've used more than my share of private health insurance and care providers while I've lived here). But I love the fact that the NHS exists, and I have no problems with paying taxes to support it. Without a single major agency with the best interests of the health of all citizens around, you can't support that type of public education.