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On This Day - What Happened Today In History | Britannica
British actor Peter Sellers, who portrayed an astonishing range of characters but was perhaps best known as inept Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the Pink Panther films, was born.
#Cars #Motoring #Automotive #Mini #England #OnThisDay
On this day in motoring - Tuesday 18th August 1959
On This Day
Tuesday 18th August 1959
61 years ago
The first pictures of BMC’s new compact four-seater Mini, designed by Alec Issigonis, were revealed to the press. Designated by Leonard Lord as project ADO15 (Amalgamated Drawing Office project number 15) and the product of the Morris design team, the Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis. Petrol was once again rationed in the UK, sales of large cars slumped, and the market for German bubble cars boomed. Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC, reportedly detested these cars so much that he vowed to rid the streets of them and design a 'proper miniature car'. He laid down some basic design requirements: the car should be contained within a box that measured 10×4×4 feet (3.0×1.2×1.2 m); and the passenger accommodation should occupy 6 feet (1.8 m) of the 10-foot (3.0 m) length; and the engine, for reasons of cost, should be an existing unit. Issigonis, who had been working for Alvis, had been recruited back to BMC in 1955 and, with his skills in designing small cars, was a natural for the task. The team that designed the Mini was remarkably small: as well as Issigonis, there was Jack Daniels (who had worked with him on the Morris Minor), Chris Kingham (who had been with him at Alvis), two engineering students and four draughtsmen. Together, by October 1957, they had designed and built the original prototype, which was affectionately named "The Orange Box" because of its colour. The ADO15 used a conventional BMC A-Series four-cylinder, water-cooled engine, but departed from tradition by mounting it transversely, with the engine-oil-lubricated, four-speed transmission in the sump, and by employing front-wheel drive. Almost all small front-wheel-drive cars developed since have used a similar configuration, except with the transmission usually separately enclosed rather than using the engine oil. The radiator was mounted at the left side of the car so that the engine-mounted fan could be retained, but with reversed pitch so that it blew air into the natural low pressure area under the front wing. This location saved vehicle length, but had the disadvantage of feeding the radiator with air that had been heated by passing over the engine. It also exposed the entire ignition system to the direct ingress of rainwater through the grille. The suspension system, designed by Issigonis's friend Dr. Alex Moulton at Moulton Developments Limited, used compact rubber cones instead of conventional springs. This space-saving design also featured rising progressive-rate springing of the cones, and provided some natural damping, in addition to the normal dampers. Built into the subframes, the rubber cone system gave a raw and bumpy ride accentuated by the woven-webbing seats, but the rigidity of the rubber cones, together with the wheels' positioning at the corners of the car, gave the Mini go kart-like handling. Initially an interconnected fluid system was planned, similar to the one that Alec Issigonis and Alex Moulton were working on in the mid-1950s at Alvis. They had assessed the mechanically interconnected Citroën 2CV suspension at that time (according to an interview by Moulton with Car Magazine in the late 1990s), which inspired the design of the Hydrolastic suspension system for the Mini and Morris/Austin 1100, to try to keep the benefits of the 2CV system (ride comfort, body levelling, keeping the roadwheel under good control and the tyres in contact with the road), but with added roll stiffness that the 2CV lacked. The short development time of the car meant this was not ready in time for the Mini's launch. The system intended for the Mini was further developed and the hydrolastic system was first used on the Morris 1100, launched in 1962; the Mini gained the system later in 1964. Ten-inch (254 mm) wheels were specified, so new tyres had to be developed, the initial contract going to Dunlop. Issigonis went to Dunlop stating that he wanted even smaller, 8 in (203 mm) wheels (even though he had already settled on ten-inch). An agreement was made on the ten-inch size, after Dunlop rejected the eight-inch proposition. Sliding windows allowed storage pockets in the hollow doors; reportedly Issigonis sized them to fit a bottle of Gordon's Gin. The boot lid was hinged at the bottom so that the car could be driven with it open to increase luggage space. On early cars the number plate was hinged at the top so that it could swing down to remain visible when the boot lid was open. This feature was later discontinued after it was discovered that exhaust gases could leak into the cockpit when the boot was open. The Mini was designed as a monocoque shell with welded seams visible on the outside of the car running down the A and C pillars, and between the body and the floor pan. Those that ran from the base of the A-pillar to the wheel well were described as 'everted' (lit., 'turned outward') to provide more room for the front seat occupants. To further simplify construction, the hinges for the doors and boot lid were mounted externally. Production models differed from the prototypes by the addition of front and rear subframes to the unibody to take the suspension loads, and by having the engine mounted the other way round, with the carburettor at the back rather than at the front. This layout required an extra gear between engine and transmission to reverse the direction of rotation at the input to the transmission. Having the carburettor behind the engine reduced carburettor icing, but the distributor was then exposed to water coming in through the grille. The engine size was reduced from 948 to 848 cc (57.9 to 51.7 cu in); this, in conjunction with a small increase in the car's width, cut the top speed from 90 to 72 mph (145 to 116 km/h). In 1959, BMC and Alec Issigonis won the Dewar Trophy, for the design and production of the Mini. The Mini shape had become so well known that by the 1990s, Rover Group – the heirs to BMC – were able to register its design as a trademark in its own right.
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‘White Lives Matter’ plane banner overshadows Premier League game between Burnley and Manchester City
As the players of Manchester City and Burnley took a knee inside an empty Etihad Stadium in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the sound of an aircraft could be heard overhead.
It had a very different message.
Trading Standards squad targets anti-5G USB stick
Trading Standards officers are seeking to halt sales of a device that has been claimed to offer protection against the supposed dangers of 5G via use of quantum technology.
Cyber-security experts say the £339 5GBioShield appears to no more than a basic USB drive.
"We consider it to be a scam," Stephen Knight, operations director for London Trading Standards told the BBC.
His said his team is working with City of London Police's Action Fraud squad.
They are seeking a court order to take down the company's website.
"People who are vulnerable need protection from this kind of unscrupulous trading," he added.
The intervention follows an examination of the device, which was first reported by the BBC.
The vendor - BioShield Distribution - had previously said the device was backed by "research", but has not responded to the latest development.
'Holographic nano-layer catalyser'
The rollout of the new 5G mobile networks began in the UK only last summer and has not yet reached outside urban areas.
Yet across the country there is already a cottage industry offering protection against the supposed negative health effects, even though they have been dismissed by regulators and mainstream scientists.
The 5GBioShield was recommended by a member of Glastonbury Town Council's 5G Advisory Committee, which has called for an inquiry into 5G.
One of nine external members, Toby Hall, said: "We use this device and find it helpful," and provided a link to its website, which describes it as a USB key that "provides protection for your home and family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical, radiation or EMF [electromagnetic field] emitting device".
"Through a process of quantum oscillation, the 5GBioShield USB key balances and re-harmonises the disturbing frequencies arising from the electric fog induced by devices, such as laptops, cordless phones, wi-fi, tablets, et cetera," it adds.
Each of these USB keys costs £339.60 including VAT, though there is a special offer of three for £958.80.
But, at first sight, it seems to be just that - a USB key, with just 128MB of storage.
"So what's different between it and a virtually identical 'crystal' USB key available from various suppliers in Shenzhen, China, for around £5 per key?" asks Ken Munro, whose company, Pen Test Partners, specialises in taking apart consumer electronic products to spot security vulnerabilities.
And the answer appears to be a circular sticker.
"Now, we're not 5G quantum experts but said sticker looks remarkably like one available in sheets from stationery suppliers for less than a penny each," he says.
Mr Munro and his colleague Phil Eveleigh proceeded to dismantle the USB key to find out if there were any whizz-bang electronics inside.
But all they found was an LED light on the circuit board, similar to those on any other USB key.
Their conclusion was that trading standards bodies should carry out their own investigations.
A search in Companies House shows the two directors of BioShield Distribution are Anna Grochowalska and Valerio Laghezza.
Both of them appear to have been involved previously in a business called Immortalis, which sells a dietary supplement called Klotho Formula.
Its website - rather similar in design to that of the BioShield - says Klotho Formula uses a "proprietary procedure that leads to relativistic time dilation and biological quantum entanglement at the DNA level".
Ms Grochowalska told BBC News her company was the sole global distributor of the 5GBioShield - but it did not manufacture or own the product.
"We are in possession of a great deal of technical information, with plenty of back-up historical research," she said.
"As you can understand, we are not authorised to fully disclose all this sensitive information to third parties, for obvious reasons."
And she rejected the suggestion selling a £5 product for more than £300 was unreasonable.
"In regard to the costs analysis your research has produced, I believe that the lack of in-depth information will not drive you to the exact computation of our expenses and production costs, including the cost of IP [intellectual property rights], and so on," she said.
"It is therefore hard to take your evaluation seriously, since you have evidently not researched the background facts in any meaningful way."
(...) When plugged in to our test machine we may have missed the bubble of “quantum holographic catalyzer technology” appearing.MORE:
The stick comes loaded with a 25 page PDF version of the material from 5GbioShield ‘s website. It included a Q&A of distances for the “bubble” and how to know if it is working. It’s an “always on” system apparently, is always working, powered or not, so no visual checks needed.
A review of the stick’s properties revealed nothing more that what you’d expect from a regular 128MB USB key. We weren’t even sure that 128s are still in production! (...)
The study, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), tested 10,705 people in more than 5,000 households and estimated 0.27% of the population in England were currently positive for Covid-19. The analysis suggests about 148,000 people across the entire population would have tested positive on any day between 27 April and 10 May 2020.https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/14/148000-in-england-infected-with-coronavirus-in-last-two-weeks
Experts suggest the current rates of infection remain “some way off” what would be needed to lift the lockdown.
The results are likely to fuel concerns about the potential of opening primary schools on 1 June to fuel transmission in the community, as no evidence was found of differences in the proportions testing positive between the age categories 2 to 19, 20 to 49, 50 to 69 and 70 years and over. The numbers testing positive in this first release were small – 33 in total – and so this picture could change and the figures are expected to be tracked closely over the next two weeks.
The figures do not include people in hospital or care homes where rates of Covid-19 infection – and possibly transmission – are likely to be higher.
It was 155 years ago today, on May 4th, 1865, when Alice tumbled down the rabbit hole.
Carroll chose the day because it was Alice Liddell’s birthday (in 1865, she turned 13). Since then, Alice and her compatriots have been reimagined countless times, and inspired creative work of just about every genre. These days, it feels like we’re all down one rabbit hole or another, so it seemed just as good a time as any to revisit some of the best artistic treatments Alice and the gang have gotten over the years, from the classic Tenniel illustrations to moody drawings by Mervyn Peake (yes, that Mervyn Peake) to creations filtered by Yayoi Kusama’s bright, bubbly brain. Down you go.
Colonel Thomas Moore (born 30 April 1920), known informally as Captain Tom, is a former British Army officer known for his efforts to raise money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.MORE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Tom_Moore
Moore served in India and the Burma campaign during the Second World War. He later became an instructor in armoured warfare. After the war, he worked as managing director of a concrete company and was an avid motorcycle racer.
On 6 April 2020, at the age of 99, he began to walk around his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. By 29 April, he had raised over £29.5 million. In doing so, he made many media appearances and became a popular household name in the United Kingdom generating much interest in his life story, and earned a number of accolades. Soon after the walk, he featured in a cover version of the song "You'll Never Walk Alone", with proceeds going to the same charity. The single topped the UK music charts and made him the oldest person to ever achieve a UK number one.
He received over 125,000 cards for his 100th birthday, and was appointed as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College.
Captain Tom Moore originally aimed to raise just £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by completing laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.MORE: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-52303859
But he has smashed his target after nearly 800,000 people made donations to his fundraising page.
As he finished the challenge earlier, he said: "I feel fine, I hope you're all feeling fine too."
Capt Tom told the BBC the total amount raised so far was "an absolutely fantastic sum of money".
"I never dreamt I would be involved in such an occasion as this," he said at the end of his final lap.
On Friday morning, Capt Tom's JustGiving page, which temporarily crashed after he finished the challenge nearly 24 hours earlier, was showing donations of more than £17m.
The total includes an undisclosed donation from the Duke of Cambridge, who also wrote to the World War Two veteran.
Capt Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said: "We are absolutely floored by what has been achieved but we're so happy, so humbled and so proud.
"He's a beacon of hope in dark times and I think we all need something like this to believe in and it's for such an amazing cause."
His granddaughter, Georgia, added she was "very proud" of him.
Capt Tom began raising funds to thank the "magnificent" NHS staff who helped him with treatment for cancer and a broken hip.
With the aid of a walking frame, he completed 100 laps of the 25-metre (82ft) loop in his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, in 10-lap chunks well before his birthday on 30 April.
Tributes and messages of congratulations have poured in from politicians, celebrities and NHS workers, while a petition for him to receive a knighthood has been signed by more than 300,000 people so far.
Downing Street said Prime Minister Boris Johnson would "certainly be looking at ways to recognise" him.
"It would be marvellous to have such an honour but I don't expect anything like that," Capt Tom said.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said Capt Tom had "captured the heart of the nation with his heroic efforts" and raised an "incredible amount" of money.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said what he had done was "extraordinary" and "showed that the British spirit was as strong as it's ever been".
Brig Andrew Jackson, colonel of the Yorkshire Regiment, described Capt Tom as "an absolute legend" who came from "an exceptional generation that are still an inspiration for our Yorkshire soldiers today".
Nurses on Ward 4 at the Royal University Hospital said: "Thank you so much for all your efforts and how much money you've raised for the NHS."
Capt Tom also received a special message from actor and singer Michael Ball, who described the challenge as "an extraordinary achievement" and sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" to him live on BBC Breakfast.
Shortly after he finished the fundraiser, the retired soldier had words of advice for the nation about coping with the coronavirus lockdown.
"You've all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right," he said.
"For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away."
More than 700,000 people from around the world have donated money to the fundraising page since it was set up last week.
Capt Tom, who is originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for World War Two, rising to captain and serving in India and Myanmar, also known as Burma.
The veteran said plans for his 100th birthday party in two weeks' time have been affected by the pandemic but that the national outpouring of love and support for him was "a party enough for me".
Captain Tom Moore receives 125,000 cards for his 100th birthday
Tuesday 28 April 2020
Thousands of cards have been sent to a school in Bedfordshire to mark Captain Tom Moore's upcoming 100th birthday.
The Second World War veteran inspired people across the world by raising more than £29m for the NHS by walking laps of his garden.
More than 125,000 birthday cards - including ones from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Dame Kelly Holmes and England football captain Harry Kane - have been sent to the school which Captain Tom's grandson attends.
Benjie Ingram-Moore enlisted the help of his school as cards began flooding in to mark his grandfather's birthday on Thursday.
The 16-year-old said: "The volume of cards that have been sent to granddad is just astonishing. So many of the cards are truly heartfelt with thousands from young children who have taken the time to use their artistic talent and write a personal message.
"Another £60,000 has been generously been donated via his birthday cards.
"It means a lot to granddad as well as us as a family. We are hugely proud of how the nation has taken granddad to its heart. Words can't express how much I idolise him."
More than 1,750 hours were spent opening each card and creating a display in Bedford School's Great Hall by a total of 140 members of school staff, parents and pupils past and present.
Hugh Maltby, director of Bedford School Association, said: "Benjie has been such an inspiration in his grandfather's campaign that we wanted to offer a way of giving back.
"When the family told us about all the cards being received at their local post office, I didn't hesitate to offer school's support to help open and display the cards."
In a separate tribute to Captain Tom, all mail sent from Monday will be stamped with a special postmark reading: "Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore, NHS fundraising hero, 30th April 2020."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also praised the war hero's efforts, saying: "If we, as a country, can show the same spirit of optimism and energy shown by Captain Tom Moore, who turns 100 this week, if we can show the same spirit of unity and determination as we have all shown in the past six weeks, then I have absolutely no doubt that we will beat it together."
A counter-terrorism police document distributed to medical staff and teachers as part of anti-extremism briefings included Greenpeace, Peta and other non-violent groups as well as neo-Nazis, the Guardian has learned.MORE: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/17/greenpeace-included-with-neo-nazis-on-uk-counter-terror-list
The guide, produced by Counter Terrorism Policing, is used across England as part of training for Prevent, the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at risk of committing terrorist violence.
Last week, police said documents uncovered by the Guardian that listed the environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) alongside far-right extremists and jihadists were a local error.
But the list of groups viewed as a potential concern contained in the new 24-page document includes Extinction Rebellion. It also includes Greenpeace – among whose supporters are Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Gillian Anderson and Joanna Lumley – and the ocean pollution campaigners Sea Shepherd, whose supporters include Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. Also included is Stop the Badger Cull, which is backed by Sir Brian May, the Queen guitarist.
(...) The last page of an accompanying visual guide seen by the Guardian advises people to report “any concerns identified via this document” using an online portal for reporting suspicious activity that is operated by Counter Terrorism Policing under the slogan: “Action counters terrorism”.