A look at the London to Glasgow Train vs Plane race organized by Campaign for Better Transport that took place yesterday.
This post is inspired by a contest set up by Campaign for Better Transport. With COP26 taking place in Glasgow the campaign group set up a race from London to Glasgow with one guy using train and one guy going by plane. I will give the details of that contest and then describe how I myself would get to Glasgow from King’s Lynn.
LONDON TO GLASGOW RACE
The train guy had a four stop tube journey to Euston and then a fast train service to Glasgow. The plane guy had to get to Luton Airport, get through airport security and board the plane, and then get a shuttle bus from the airport at the other end to central Glasgow.
The plane guy got to the destination first, by two measly minutes. As against that the train guy had a straightforward, stress free journey, whereas the plane guy did not. The other point is that the plane journey causes seven times the carbon emissions of the train journey. A total gain of two minutes on a journey of that length cannot be worth either the extra stress or the extra pollution, thus although this race did not quite have the result I was hoping for it is enough to say:
Here for extra evidence is the final tweet from CBT about the race:
They’ve arrived! @Paultuohy on the plane and Norman Baker on the train got to George Square just TWO MINS apart.
Paul *just* beat Norman, but his journey emitted around 7x more carbon emissions.
If I was to travel from King’s Lynn to Glasgow I would do so using two modes of public transport plus of course Shanks’ Pony at each end of the journey. I would walk from my bungalow to King’s Lynn bus station from where I would catch an ExCel bus to Peterborough and would then take the train from Peterborough to Glasgow. The reason for starting the route by bus is that if I use train all the way from King’s Lynn I have to change at Ely, whereas the bus goes direct to Peterborough. From King’s Lynn there is no remotely local airport that would be even vaguely sensible to use – the two nearest, Norwich and Stansted both entail starting one’s journey by travelling in the wrong direction, so even a die-hard plane aficionado would probably be forced to accept that plane is really not an option for this journey.
From my childhood home in south London the best route would be Northern line from Tooting Bec to Stockwell, Victoria line from Stockwell to Euston (the extra speed of the Victoria line justifying the apparently unnecessary change at Stockwell, which also happens to be a cross-platform interchange) and the fast train from Euston to Glasgow.
An account of India v England yesterday, some stuff about the environment, a mathematical teaser and a bumper crop of photos.
Yesterday the third of five T20Is between India and England took place in Ahmedabad. The first part of this post gives an account of proceedings in that match, and then I have a couple of bonus features as well as my usual sign off.
For England Mark Wood was fit again and came back into the side in place of Tom Curran, and that was the only change. For India Rohit Sharma returned to the ranks and Suryakumar Yadav who had not even batted on his debut was benched to make way for him. England won the toss, and with the series 1-1 and both matches won by chasing sides, chose to bowl first, the correct decision (although if he wins the toss tomorrow he should gamble and bat first as there as World T20 Cup coming up in India and England will probably need to win at least one match batting first to lift that trophy).
THE INDIAN INNINGS
England bowled magnificently in the Power Play overs, restricting India to 24-3 from the first six overs of their innings. After 15 overs India were 87-5, but they then had what would prove to be their only good period of the match, plundering 69 off the final five overs of their innings to post 156-6 from their 20 overs. Half of this total came off the bat of Virat Kohli. Mark Wood, at his best, had 3-31 from his four overs, and 16 of those runs were hit off the third, fourth and fifth balls of his final over. Every other bowler contributed to a fine team effort, with Rashid being wicketless but bowling his full four overs for 26 runs.
THE ENGLAND RESPONSE
Roy fell cheaply after successive good scores in the first two matches, but Buttler underlined his status as England’s finest white ball batter, looking in complete command right from the start of his innings. Malan got a start, but on this occasion did not turn it into anything big, though he still managed to contribute to a fifty partnership. Bairstow, a superb white ball batter, joined Buttler, and these two players were still together when the match was won in the 18th of 20 overs, Buttler 83 not out off 54 and Bairstow 40 not out off 26 balls. None of the Indian bowlers looked terribly threatening, and Yuzvendra Chahal, their chosen leg spinner, looked leagues below Adil Rashid. Washington Sundar is an economical off spinner, but what India desperately needed and could not get were wickets. A total of 180 might have been defendable by keeping things as tight as possible, but 156 was never. likely to be defended unless India got wickets, and a lot of them. Buttler, who had also done well with the gloves, was the only conceivable candidate for Player of the Match.
THE REMAINING FIXTURES
Although some people either through mischief or through idiocy were questioning Malan’s place in the England side based on two comparative failures the truth is that there are only two changes at present that would make any real sense, and I would be disinclined to make either while the series remains live: Moeen Ali to replace either Sam Curran or Chris Jordan, giving an extra spin option, and/or Liam Livingstone to replace Stokes as no5 batter and sixth bowling option (he can spin the ball both ways, although he is not a regular bowler).
For India things are more complicated – their top order batting has struggled in this series, with fatally poor starts in the first and third matches and an indifferent one in the second, and the bowling attack as currently constituted is simply not good enough. He did not fare too badly this time, but for me if he is going to be worth his place Hardik Pandya needs to be batting in the top half of the order and being India’s sixth bowler, not their fifth. I do not see how Chahal can retain his place – he is leaking runs consistently and rarely threatens to take wickets. The obvious struggling batter is KL Rahul, with one run in his last four innings (note to Malan bashers – that IS the sort of form on which you can talk about dropping a highly ranked batter.
The Green Party candidate in the London Mayoral election, Sian Berry (please, Londoners, do the right things this time and elect her) has proposed the creation of a ‘habitat crime unit’ which would tackle habitat and ecological crimes in the capital. I think this is an excellent idea. You can read full details of it by clicking here.
The London Parklet campaign today tweeted out a superb graphic created by Emma Paxton on redesigning cities to be greener. You can see the tweet by clicking here, and I present a screenshot of the graphic below:
A MATHEMATICAL TEASER
I have not presented one of these for a while, but I enjoyed solving this one this morning:
Now it is time for my usual sign off, including my first blue tit of 2021…
Some thoughts on the recently concluded India – South Africa test series, some stuff about the environment and climate change and some photographs.
This post looks at the just concluded test series between India and South Africa, and also features a couple of other things plus some photographs.
AN APPROPRIATE END TO AN EXTRAORDINARILY ONE SIDED SERIES
India had already settled the series by winning huge victories in the first two games, but they did not rest on their laurels. A batting performance led by Rohit Sharma (212) and Ajinkya Rahane (115) saw India rack up 497-9 declared over most of the first two days. In the last stages of day 2 they captured two cheap South African wickets. Day 3 was the day the match was settled – South Africa were rolled for 162 in their first innings and then by the close were eight down in the second with stubborn opener Dean Elgar injured and unlikely to resume his innings. The final wicket fell at the start of day 4, with Elgar as suspected not resuming his innings. The second South African innings mustered a mere 133, making the final margin a whopping innings and 202 runs.
India are traditionally hard to beat at home, but there were two factors about this series that should be seriously concerning for the rest of the cricket world:
Historically, although they have had some great opening batters down the years India have not had many great opening pairs – their main batting strength has always been in the middle of the order, and they have tended to struggle against quick bowling. In this series a key feature of their success was that Rohit Sharma and Mayant Agarwalboth had excellent series at the top of the order, with Rohit producing a string of scores that Bradman in his pomp would have been proud of.
India’s successes have historically been dependent on spin bowlers taking wickets, with genuine pace bowlers few and far between. In this series, even with Jasprit Bumrahunavailable due to injury it has been the quicker bowlers who have done the most damage.
In short not only have India made South Africa look very ordinary indeed, they have also shown massive strength in what have been historically their two greatest problem areas – fast bowling and top order batting.On fast bowling the following graphic from cricviz analyst further emphasises the point:
The good average recorded by Ireland’s pace bowlers was of course assisted by one of England’s most ignominious recent batting collapses (85 all out at Lord’s).
The other two matches don’t read much if any better for South Africa than this one – the first match saw India score 502-7 declared and 322-4 declared while SA managed 431 and 191, to go down by 202 runs, while the second saw India tally 601-5 declared against 276 and 189 by their opponents, for a margin of an innings and 136 runs. India in this series have thus tallied 1922-25 for an average of 76.88 runs per wicket, while South Africa have scored 1382-59, for an average of 23.42 per wicket. At the back end of 2019 India soundly beat Australia in Australia, while this summer England were more than a little fortunate to emerge from a home series against Australia with a 2-2 scoreline. The series just concluded shows that India are now even better than they were a year ago. Can England with what looks like a sensible test squad manage an impressive series in New Zealand?
For more detail about the recently concluded India – South Africa series start by clicking here.
ON THE ENVIRONMENT
I have a number of things on this important issue to share with you. I start by drawing your attention to Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK on the subject of Sustainable Cost Accounting:
Here is a map showing what The British Isles could look like in the year 2100 if we do nothing:
I end this section with a note about the London Mayoral Elections. The incumbent Sadiq Khan is failing to help himself, the Tory vote will be split between the official Tory candidate Shaun Bailey and the nominally Independent but actually thorough-going Tory Rory Stewart, which all leaves Green candidate Sian Berry (3rd place in 2016) in with a very good chance of winning the election. I have already indicated that if I had a vote then under the system used for these elections my first preference would go to Sian Berry, and my second to Sadiq Khan as an insurance policy against either Tory getting in and my message to any one who is reading this and does have a vote is to do likewise – let’s get London a Green mayor.
Predictions at the half way stage of todays Royal London Cup matches, some links and plenty of my photographs.
There are four matches taking place in the Royal London Cup today, which means that even if all of my predictions turn out incorrect I will still have more right than wrong at the end of it, as I am currently on 12 out of 19.
THE ROYAL LONDON CUP TODAY
This is what is happening so far…
Surrey v Essex – Surrey 278-8 50 overs At 220-3 in the 42nd over Surrey would have been entertaining hopes of getting close to 300. At 241-8 Essex would have been hoping to restrict Surrey to no more than 260. In the end the difference was almost exactly split, thanks to some late hitting from Jason Roy who had suffered a back spasm earlier in the day. Ben Foakes top scored for Surrey with 82. Sam Cook took 3-37 from eight overs, Dan Lawrence bowled his full allocation of 10 and took 2-52 – Surrey will be hoping for something similar from their nearest equjivalent, Will Jacks. I predict that Surrey will defend this total.
Hampshire v Middlesex – Hampshire 301-9 from 50 overs Until the last over Middlesex were faring quite well in this one, buit topping 300 is big psychological boost for Hampshire, albeit that 300 is not the mountainous total it once was in this form of the game. A South African, Aidan Markram, top scored with 88 and a renegade South African, Rilee Rossouw made 64. Tom Helm, right-arm medium fast took five wickets but was made to pay for them (71 in nine overs). I expect Hampshire, with their bowling spearheaded by another renegade South African, Kyle Abbott, to defend this one.
Gloucestershire v Kent– Kent 282-8 from 50 overs
The early stages of the Kent innings saw Zak Crawley make 85 and Joe Denly56. At the end Harare born wicketkeeper Adam Rouse hit 45 not out off 28 balls to boost the total. Benny Howell took 2-39 from his 10 overs, 28 year old right-arm fast medium bowler David Payne had 2-45 and slow left-armer Tom Smith had 2-47 from seven overs. I expect Gloucestershire to chase these down – Kent look to me like they are a trifle short of bowling options (they will almost certainly need Denly to bowl his full ten overs).
Thus my predictions, with varying degrees of confidence, are: Surrey, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire.
PHYSIO SESSION AT TAPPING HOUSE
Today I attended my second full physio session at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House. The exercises I did today as part of my recovery from cancer include a stair exercise, an arm exercise involving weights, three minutes on the treadmill, a set of arm exercises involving a punching action and three minutes on the bicycle simulator (I was particularly pleased with this one, since I managed to average 26kph, or approx 16mph over the three minutes). While there I also augmented my photo collection:
LINKS AND PICTURES
First three related pieces. Richard Murphy has added two more to his Taxes To Save the Environment (Taste):
There is also a piece on devonlive, which I was found by way of twitter headlined “Shock and anger as entire Devon woodland is chopped down“. The piece makes clear that not only had planning permission for this atrocity not been granted, the arrogant and unscrupulous developer had not even bothered to seek it. My own opinion is this developer should be punished by both a hefty fine upfront and by being made to replant the woodland at his own expense. My hope would be the combined expense of these two would put him in serious financial difficulties to teach him a lesson.
A look at my predictions in yesterday’s Royal London Cup matches, some important links and some of my photographs.
In yesterday’s post I ventured predictions on the outcomes of the five Royal London Cup matches that had reached their half way stage at the time I was posting. Today, with the next Royal London Cup fixtures taking place tomorrow I am going to use the main body of this post to reveal the actual outcomes of yesterday’s matches.
PREDICTION VERSUS FACT – HOW I DID
Some people (especially fans of whyevolutionsistrue) will recognize that this section heading is a riff on the title of Jerry Coyne’s second popular bestseller, Faith Versus Fact. I will start with the two matches I called incorrectly:
Gloucestershire v Surrey – Gloucestershire 235, Surrey 88, Gloucestershire won by 147 runs An unconscionable collapse by Surrey. The two bowlers who did the principal damage, slow left-armer Tom Smith with 3-7 and medium pacer Chris Liddlewith 3-17 do not have overall records that suggest them to be destroyers, so it is hard to understand how Surrey who appeared to have done the hard work by restricting their oppponents to 235 could make such an almighty hash of their own of batting.
Essex v Glamorgan – Essex 326-7, Glamorgan 146, Essex won by 180 runs I made my prediction for this one based on the ridiculous scoring that had happened during the championship game at Cardiff a few days earlier. Unfortunately, having demonstrated in that one that they cannot bowl or catch, Glamorgan this time showed that they cannot handle pressure, with only a late 36 from Marchant de Lange reducing the margin to under 200 runs (he came in at 82-7). Siddle and Bopara did good work with the ball for Essex.
Yorkshire v Leicestershire– Yorkshire 379-7, Leciestershire 166 An obvious call, but not even I was expecting the final result to be this much of a thrashing. Four of Leciestershire’s batters got into the twenties, but the highest score for them was Cosgrove‘s 42. South African born fast bowler Matt Pillans took 5-29, England left-arm medium pacer David Willey had 2-26 and legspinner Josh Poysdentook 2-26 to outshine England man Adil Rashid who went wicketless.
Lancashire v Worcestershire – Worcestershire 367, Lancashire 242 Even more one-sided than the final margin suggests, given that Lancashire were 191-8 at one point – a tail wag from Steven Croft(32 not out), Jimmy Anderson (4) and Matthew Parkinson (10) assisted them. The real batters failed to provide a single really major innings between them – five of the top six got into the twenties, but the top score was a mere 54, from (I hope) ex-England man Keaton Jennings. The wickets were widely shared around, with no one having outstanding bowling figures.
That leaves the match that I did not call as it was too early, which was:
Kent v Hampshire – Hampshire 310-9, Kent 220 While saying it was too early to attempt to call this one I also said that if Hampshire could get up around the 300 mark I would make them favourites, while if Kent held them to about 250 I would make them favourites. The first scenario happened, and Hampshire duly won, but there is no way be sure (especially given that every side that batted first won on the day, and that batting first tends to be even more advantageous when floodlights come into play) that Kent would have been successful chasing the lower total. Therefore I do not claim this as a correct call but also do not accept it as a wrong call – I said it was too early to call, and I hold to that. For Hampshire Sam Northeast (ex of Kent) scored 105 not out, while List A debutant Matt Milnes took 5-79 for Kent. For Kent Zak Crawley top scored with 49, while the margin was reduced to double figures rather than treble by the lower-order efforts of Stevens (30), Podmore (40) and Milnes (26). Chris Wood, Kyle Abbott and bits ‘n’pieces manLiam Dawson each took two wickets.
Thus I was right with three predictions out of five. These results demosntrate the danger of formulaic thinking – many one-day captains on winning the toss put their opponents in without even thinking about it, but every single team who batted first on this day ended up victorious.
LINKS AND PICTURES
First, a teaser from brilliant, although I make it more difficult than they did by removing the multi-choice element:
To lead into my usual sign off we have a selection of closely related pieces, starting with two from Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK.
I do not often link to Newspaper front pages, but this from the Mirror, which I saw by way of twitter (which I have formatted as a link so that you can read the article) had to be included.
Finally, for those of my readers who are UK Citizens there is a petition about this issue on the official government petitions site, which I urge you to join me in signing and sharing – screenshot/link below:
Originally posted on Annas Art – FärgaregårdsAnna: If you wanna spread this letter, you are welcome to share it worldwide. Tag it with #timesup if you want. If you want to make a translation of the text to other languages and share it, do it. We all have to help out saving our…
Please read and share Anna’swonderful open letter to leaders. Note that this is Anna’s work and that therefore I am closing comments, as those should go direct to the original.
If you wanna spread this letter, you are welcome to share it worldwide. Tag it with #timesup if you want. If you want to make a translation of the text to other languages and share it, do it. We all have to help out saving our planet. This is one way among millions to help.