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The Wasp
Mr Raccoon

Does your car need a little more oomph? How about 147.1 liters and 10000 horse power?

Having always been fascinated by mechanical things, this one caught my eye rather quickly :


It started life as a Russian 42 cylinder diesel radial engine putting out around 4000 hp and used in Soviet missile boats which had three of these beasts installed :


As it weighed 5.4 tonnes in its bare form, one would have thought that there would not be too many applications for it outside large boats. It seems though that a German tractor pulling team had other ideas and after some considerable modification they produced this methonol burning version complete with 126 spark plugs and 168 valves and 10000 hp :

m503a fire

And, after producing a monster like that, I suppose you could forgive the somewhat over the top vehicle it sits in :




When a BBC headline looks more exciting than it actually is …

The following headline on the BBC News landing page caught my eye in a “what on earth will they research next” kind of way (honestly!) :

BBC teaserOnly to be somewhat disappointed by the actual article :

Scientists say they have published the most detailed brain scans “the world has ever seen” as part of a project to understand how the organ works.

The aim of the project is to determine how a person’s brain structure influences their talents and behaviour.

Researchers involved in the so called Human Connectome Project have published the scans of 68 adults in the study.

They eventually hope to scan 1,200 people and also collect details of their behavioural traits and DNA.

The information is made freely available to neuroscientists in their quest to unlock the secrets of the human brain.

Damn that unfortunate headline truncation!

Amusingly, it would appear that I am not the only one who clicked expecting some altogether different scans :

bbc popular


You have two cows …

Via ZeroHedge, I have seen similar ones before but I think this is the best one yet (click the image to see full size version) :



Pictorial Interlude – When minimum alcohol pricing doesn’t work, beer will only be available in this HM Government approved size …

I think you will wear out your finger trying to open the cans faster than it evaporates from your glass …



Video Interlude to annoy the bansturbators – tobacco cat …

Smoke stealing kitty amused me somewhat :



Electric car charging subsidies – yet more expense on the bills of the many to bribe the wealthy …


Electric cars – so popular that the government is now going to spend even more of our money on bribes to increase their use :

The government has announced that it will cover up to 75% of the cost of installing charging points for electric vehicles in garages and driveways.

Drivers with off-street parking who want to install the facility will be expected to cover the remaining 25%.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said ministers were committed to ensuring that the UK was a “world leader in the electric car industry”.

Not content with subsidising the price of the electric cars in the first place :

You can get a grant towards the cost of each new electric (plug-in) car or van you buy, if it meets certain conditions. Grants are available for:

  • 25% off the cost of a car, up to a maximum of £5,000
  • 20% off the cost of a van up to a maximum of £8,000

We now have to fork out for charging them too and not just on private drives :

The government estimates that it will cost between about £1,000 and £1,500 for drivers with off-street parking to install charging points in their garages or driveways; it will fund 75% of this cost, up to a maximum contribution of £1,000.

Ministers also want to encourage train operators to install new charging points at railway stations, and have offered the same 75% incentive.

And local authorities wanting to invest in rapid charging points, which cost about £45,000 to install and make it easier for drivers of electric vehicles to undertake longer journeys, will also be able to apply to central government for the same proportion of funding.

What really grates in this case is that the people buying these cars are not exactly short of a bob or two in the first place. The Nissan Leaf for example is just short of £24000 AFTER taking the £5000 subsidy into account! Surely they can afford another £1000 on a plug point?

Surely I am not the only person fed up to the back teeth with being gouged through energy bills to pay for an ever expanding array of bribes subsidies which will soon be more of the bill than the damned gas I use to heat the house?

Time to stick a bigger wood burner in I think and starve the beast before it starves me.

As an aside, remember too that electric cars are not exactly much good at reducing polution either as I wrote about a couple of years ago :

And, if you think I am being overly flippant, even The Royal Academy of Engineering doesn’t think (pdf) electric vehicles will do much to reduce CO2 emissions, not to mention that billions will need to be spent on upgrading the UK electricity distribution infrastructure, all of which will come from us poor sods that pay the bills :

A car comparison website lists the CO2 emissions for all of the UK’s major new
cars. The average CO2 emissions rating is 173g/km (grams of carbon dioxide per
kilometre driven), the lowest being 89g/km and the highest 500g/km.18 The 2020
target for average emissions is 130g/km. It is expected that this figure will be
reduced progressively and some experts are talking about a long-term target of
around 80g/km for 4-seat internal combustion engine vehicles.
Results from electric vehicle trials show that EVs equivalent to a small petrol or
diesel four-seat car use around 0.2kWh/km in normal city traffic. CO2 emissions
from power stations vary from year to year and also over the daily cycle as the
carbon intensity of generation changes: in 2009 it was 544g/kWh. Thus the
emissions related to an EV are about 100g/km. Trials on a small fleet of four twoseat
Smart Move vehicles have shown average CO2 emissions of 81.4g/km using
electricity of the same carbon intensity.19

On this basis, it is difficult to see how EVs fed from the present UK electricity
generation mix are significantly better in terms of carbon emissions than petrol or
diesel vehicles.20 To have a major effect commensurate with the 2050 target, the
introduction of EVs would need to be accompanied by almost total
‘decarbonisation’ of the electricity supply. Under these conditions, they could
provide the ideal solution of personal mobility without the environmental

So, unless we totally remove gas and coal from the generation mix, cover the entire country in windmills and surround it with wave generators, we may as well choose to drive a small modern diesel. Unfortunately, that won’t keep the tree huggers happy so we will all end up paying for the nonsensical green dream.

I will leave the final word to The Daily Mash who hit the nail on the head :

THE Nissan factory in Sunderland is to produce a new electric car that will be unable to get as far as Doncaster.

The Leaf, backed by £21m of taxpayers’ money, has been specially designed so that if it is driven out of the factory after rush hour on a Thursday morning it will grind to a state-of-the-art halt on the A1 approximately 100 miles later.

A company spokesman said: “It should get you at least as far as Knottingley, if you keep it at 28 all the way and ignore red lights and stuff.

“The absolute furthest it would get you is probably about two miles north of Burghwallis, which – as I’m sure everyone would agree – is almost Doncaster. When you phone for a cab tell them to pick you up from the pub.”

The spokesman admitted it would be difficult to recharge the car in the middle of the South Yorkshire countryside due to Britain’s ‘scandalous shortage’ of incredibly long extension leads.

He added: “You may as well just abandon it by the side of the road. But they only cost about twenty thousand quid so you’ll probably have at least five of them.”

The company stressed the car would be more attractive to people who lived in urban areas, close to their place of work who had always wanted to have a long cable running from their third floor kitchen window down into the street like some sort of Action Man death slide.

The spokesman said: “We are building up the infrastructure so that in five years time you’ll be able to go to Tesco for your weekly shop and then nip into the recharging station for about 16 hours.”

Meanwhile, the company has developed a range of marketing slogans including ‘The Leaf – Quite Good For Sitting In’ and ‘The Leaf – Because You Hate People So Much You Can’t Even Spend 15 Minutes on a Bus’.”



Artistic Interlude – Infinity and Alice in a suit …

Hopefully only another month of slavery but in the mean time, this one caught my eye – simple but very clever :


And I wasn’t expecting this one from a Finnish poster campaign – scrubs up rather well I think :



Modern British Life – Nag, Nag, Nag …

nanny_stateNag, nag, nag …

Today started for me at 04:30 when the radio alarm came on with an NHS advert reminding me that A&E and 999 are only for emergencies. After a shower and coffee, I drove a few junctions down the motorway and was reminded on the first overhead sign not to drink and drive. This was followed by the second overhead sign warning me to slow down because of spray and then the third reminding me that tiredness kills. After parking at the railway station park and ride, the sign by the stairs asked me if I had hidden my valuables in the car, turned off the lights and locked the doors. The tanoy system then chimed into life reminding me that surfaces were slippery today due to the rain followed by a reminder to be on the lookout for suspicious items or behaviour.

Standing on the bleak and windswept platform, behind the line as advised by another tannoy announcement due to an approaching train, I stared at the advert from the NHS reminding me once again that A&E and 999 are only for emergencies. Thankfully the arriving train was one I could take to the main station so I got on and made sure I stood clear of the doors as prompted by the robotic sounding announcement. A couple of stops later and the train arrived at the main station where we were reminded by the guard (or train manager as they are apparently called these days) to check around us for all our personal effects, ensure we had all our luggage and to take care stepping from the train due to the gap.

I walked through the main station to the platform I needed and was again reminded to take care due to the surfaces being slippery and also warned that running was not allowed for my own safety. Thankfully, I avoided mishap in this dangerous place and arrived at the correct platform with a few minutes to spare which was just enough time to get another reminder about suspicious items or behaviour, a statement that smoking is not allowed anywhere on station premises and a warning that skateboards may not be used on platform areas. My second train then arrived and after standing clear of the doors was welcomed on board by a member of the ‘on train team’ asking people to keep aisles clear of luggage, elbows and knees so she could come through the carriages with her ‘mobile catering vehicle’ – I kid you not on that one!

Two stops down the line I finally reached my destination and was again reminded to take all my things with me, that surfaces will be slippery, there is a gap when you step off the train and to be alert to suspicious objects or behaviour.

All that lot within 3 hours of waking and all repeated, to the point of wanting to shout for fucks sake fuck off, on my return journey 9 hours later with the added twist of the motorway signs now alternating between asking of my car is ready for winter and warning to slow down due to high winds.

Thankfully, I only have to repeat this torture two days per month – every single day and I am sure I would not be far off a rampage by Friday.


Video Interlude – Pedestrians in need of clean underwear …

Whilst work is preventing anything useful here, how about these lucky buggers :


Notice the chick on the right nearly being decapitated by the tailgate!


Very lazy bat …

This one amused me somewhat :


I am not sure if it is an ex-bat or if it just felt the need to put its feet up while sleeping.

Still not as good as bat kitty though  :



Parents think it is too dangerous to let their kids play in the snow. I wonder why that is …

We seem to have become a timid race here in the UK.

From the Torygraph, we have this :

Nearly a third of parents believe it is “too dangerous” to let their children play outside in the snow, in case they slip on ice or get hit by a snowball, a survey has shown.

Worried parents will ban their children from making snowmen and having snowball fights this winter – for fear they will catch a cold, a study found.

The protective one in five mums and dads, 20 per cent, will try to stop their youngsters falling ill by keeping them wrapped up warm indoors.

Furthermore, 29 per cent say it is “too dangerous” to let them outside because they may slip on ice or be bruised by a tightly-packed snowball.

That is despite many parents admitting they “enjoyed” playing outside when they were younger, the study by Chessington World of Adventures Resort found.

A stressed 20 per cent say they are “too tired” or “too busy” to supervise their children outside, so they find it easier to ban them completely.

And, if one is wondering why, then I will offer this load of complete and utter alarmist bollocks as a possible reason (emphasis mine) :

Forecasters have warned of major travel disruption, threats to power supplies and fears for the elderly as they predicted falls of up to 12in in some areas today and tomorrow.

Higher ground will see the worst, especially in Wales and the west of England, but up to 4in will fall in other areas. Winds up to 25mph will also cause drifting, forecasters said.

A red weather warning has been issued in South Wales, where up to 12in of snow and 30mph winds are forecast.

Thousands of people were advised not to leave their homes, with the dangers so severe that even the fit and healthy are at risk.

It isn’t even half way up a pair of wellingtons or even blowing a gale for fucks sake! I have read some shite in my time but that takes the gold medal in bollocks.

At this rate we will be extinct within a few years I think.


Apparently, we used to make things here in the UK …

A brief snippet – the following graph from a ZeroHedge article showing the share of global exports in 1980 and 2011 grabbed my attention with the declines in every category for things made in the UK :

Global Exports

Interestingly, South Korea’s gains in each category over the last 30 years almost match the UK’s declines. Not as notable though as China’s rise to a powerful exporter in such a short time.


Even The Daily Mash would consider this news story to be too bizarre …

The opening paragraphs from two articles, one from The BBC and one from The Daily Mash – the question is, which is which?

Article A :

SKY viewers on unemployment benefits will only be allowed to watch documentaries, according to new guidelines.

As part of a radical government overhaul of televised entertainment, those out of work will be only be permitted informative satellite channels.

Article B :

A German student “mooned” a group of Hell’s Angels and hurled a puppy at them before escaping on a stolen bulldozer, police have said.

OK so I may have made it slightly harder than necessary by choosing a sane Mash article (A if you are still wondering) but this BBC article is certainly up there with some of The Mash’s finest :

A German student “mooned” a group of Hell’s Angels and hurled a puppy at them before escaping on a stolen bulldozer, police have said.

The man drove up to a Hell’s Angels clubhouse near Munich, wearing only a pair of shorts and carrying a puppy.

He dropped his shorts and threw the dog, escaping on a bulldozer from a nearby building site.

He was arrested later at home by police. The 26-year-old is said to have stopped taking depression medication.

After making his getaway on the bulldozer, he had driven so slowly that a 5km tailback built up behind him on the motorway.

After driving about 1km, he had abandoned the bulldozer in the middle of the motorway, near Allershausen. He continued his journey by hitchhiking.

“What motivated him to throw a puppy at the Hell’s Angels is currently unclear,” a police spokesman said.

The puppy is now being cared for in an animal shelter.

You just wonder what on earth motivated him to consider that course of action, especially the bulldozer to escape a bike gang.

Anyway, whilst on the subject of Germany and animals, here is The Daily Mash treatment of the German ban on animal sex which came into effect on January 1st :

THOUSANDS of Germans last night grabbed the nearest available animal and had sex with it.

As the country’s lawmakers moved to outlaw bestiality, zoos, farms and pet shops were inundated with people offering money for one final bout of inter-species coitus.

Hans Schmelling, an architect from Dusseldorf, spoke of his relief after finding a last-minute non-human sex partner.

He said: “I can now tell my children that in 2012 I was one the last Germans to legally penetrate a goose.”

The last line there being one of the most amusing I have read in a long time.

If you doubt the veracity of The Daily Mash, how about their near stablemate, The Daily Mail :

Germany is poised to reinstate an old law forbidding sex with animals after a sharp rise in incidents of bestiality along with websites promoting it.

Parliament begins debating changes to the national Animal Protection Code this week with the agricultural committee of the Bundestag pledging fines of up to £20,000 for a first offence.

Time for me to go and read something sensible I think before I have strange dreams …


The world’s most useless machine gets an upgrade …

The world’s most useless machine has been upgraded – looks like fun for an hour or two at least :


Now we have to wait for the upgraded version to throw a tantrum just like version II did.


Back to the UK which is decidedly still in la-la land …

The Wasp is knackered after a long day of wing flapping to return to this strange little isle, where it would seem the government is still as demented as a box of frogs :

The prime minister said it was vitally important the government maintained its “credibility for deficit reduction” so it could continue to borrow money at low rates of interest.

Firstly, what deficit reduction and secondly, why not just stop spending other peoples money instead of borrowing us into an even bigger hole?


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