Getting in early

With the trend for celebrating Halloween as early as late August, and Christmas beginning in November, I thought I would stay on the bandwagon, with a New Year greeting one day early.

I have some stuff to do tomorrow, and guests for food and drinks in the evening. As I may not be around to do this on New Year’s Eve, I thought I would sort it out now.

I want to wish all readers and followers of this blog a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year for 2020.

I don’t know about you, but even typing the number 2020 seems strange to me. It feels like ‘the future’, and I am surprised to still be living in it.

Let’s hope it doesn’t fly by as fast as 2019 did.

Review / Warning of ‘promotional service’ by Wid Sebastian / Genius Media / Kairos Phoenix Company

AUTHORS! A WARNING! PROMOTIONAL SCAM!
Please read the original post from Christoph, about how a charity book project was scammed into receiving nothing despite great sales.
Share on social media to stop this evil scammer conning more victims!

writerchristophfischer

Here is a little warning about a “service” I subscribed to recently:
Wid Bastian of Genius Media who now has a new business named Kairos Phoenix Company (KPC).

https://www.facebook.com/widb1
https://www.bizapedia.com/wy/kairos-phoenix-company-llc.html

I’m usually sceptical when it comes to professional indie author support but was taken in by his string of box sets. So many authors couldn’t be wrong?

Our book, Do No Harm, A collection of Medical thrillers, did well. Thanks to advertising and our own huge efforts we made USA Today and gathered 1.5 millions page reads during the short time it was in KU.

Two charities were named for this set, both 501c3 charities in the US and were to receive the pre-order proceeds.  The charities advertised and marketed the set along with the authors. I’ve seen predominantly the marketing efforts from charities and the authors involved – actually next to nothing from his company.

Anyway, when…

View original post 375 more words

The Real Cost Of Private Medicine

After my post about going to see the doctor yesterday, my dear blogging friend Kim sent me a link to a very interesting video. This may be of great interest to British readers.

Few of us here know much about private health care, although a percentage of people do pay into a scheme to get preferential, or faster treatment. Having a pet might make you realise just how expensive treatment and drugs can be these days, as I have found out with Ollie’s trips to the Vet.

In this short film, random people on a British street are asked to guess the cost of medical treatments and drugs in America, for example an asthma inhaler.

Their answers are very interesting.

Given the recent publicity about government ministers considering significant changes to the NHS and overall healthcare provision in this country, this is something we all need to be aware of.

In the UK, an ambulance callout costs you £0 in medical bills. The birth of your child costs you £0 in medical bills. In the USA, it’s a different story.

A Thanksgiving Wish

We don’t have Thanksgiving here, and this close to Christmas, I give thanks for that. 🙂

However, I would like to wish all my American friends, followers, and readers
A Very Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope that you all have family, friends, or someone special to spend the annual holiday with. Relish the company. Eat, drink, and enjoy.

Remember those empty chairs too, those you have lost over the years.
Recall happy memories from when they were also around the table.

Spare a thought for those spending the holiday alone, or families who don’t have enough money to splash out on traditional food.

Forget politics for a few days, enjoy some peace and happiness.

And don’t forget to save some energy for Christmas!

Whoever you are with, and wherever you are, you know you will always have a friend here in Beetley.

My very best wishes to you all, Pete.

Electric Car, Anyone?

(This post is about all-electric cars, not petrol/electric hybrids)

We keep hearing a lot about electric cars. They don’t pollute, and they are ‘green’, as far as the environment is concerned. Some countries are insisting that all cars have to be electric by a certain date, though that date varies dramatically.

They have drawbacks of course. Limited range, depending on speed, and using lights or accessories. They are not easy to charge either. Very few charging stations have been built so far, and those that exist don’t have that many spaces. That means you might drive to a place, not be able to charge your vehicle, and then be stuck there.

Even charging them at home is a mission. If I had one, I would have to have a cable running from the car to a power source in the garage. Far from ideal, especially in bad weather, if the car doesn’t fit into the garage, or if like most of us, your garage is full of ‘stuff’, and has no room for a car.

And what if I lived in a smart high-rise apartment in London, with no underground car park? Would I drape my charging lead twenty floors down the side of the building, to the car parked outside? Or in a nice Edwardian house on a street. Would people be prepared to step over or under the cable as they walked along? I doubt that. And nobody will vandalise your unattended car as it charges, by pulling out the plug, or breaking the cable.
Believe that, and you’ll believe anything.

And there are some other much more serious considerations.

It is estimated that the batteries in such cars generally only last about seven years, depending on use, and how many times they are re-charged. If we end up with millions of electric cars on the roads, we will have the problem of having to dispose of millions of worn-out batteries too. And replacements can cost anything from £400 to £1900 each. That replacement cost has to be factored in to a car that has already been hit by age and use depreciation, possibly making the car completely worthless after a relatively short life.

But if it is going to be better for the environment, then it has to be done, right?

Think again.

Cobalt is essential for the manufacture of batteries used in electric cars. A lot of this is obtained from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Child labour is used there in the extraction of Cobalt, as well as poorly-paid and unsafe adult labour. There is no health and safety, and no restrictions on the extraction. Last year, the DRC produced 70% of all the Cobalt used in the West.

COBALT

But even that won’t be enough once electric cars become compulsory. The ‘answer’ is going to be mining the seas for Cobalt. Those seas already choking on plastic pollution, oil pollution, and garbage pollution. Coral degeneration is a hot topic, but once Cobalt mining starts, the current worries will be overwhelmed by a true ecological disaster. The disturbance of the sea bed will cover plants and creatures in sand and silt, also making the water dark, and stifling the breathing of sea life.

Sea Cobalt

Here’s a recent BBC report on that.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49759626

So when Amsterdam bans all but electric vehicles soon, and stands proud as the first city to do so, I hope they are giving some thought to the small boys hammering rocks in Africa for a pittance, or the sea-life destroyed by Cobalt mining in our oceans. And I also hope that they have worked out what to do with all the spent batteries, less than ten years after that.

I know petrol and diesel is no long-term answer. But it seems all-electric has just as many problems too. And I haven’t even discussed the generation of all that electricity using coal-fired, garbage-fired, and nuclear power stations that will still be in use for a generation.

Perhaps the future has to return to pedal power? And a lot more walking.