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And another one . . Epicentre.
I hear on the news that the epicentre of the corona virus outbreak is Wuhan The centre of the outbreak is therefore somewhere in the atmosphere directly above the city. I wonder at what height it spontaneously appeared?
Note for all journalists - te epicentre is not closer to the centre than the centre already is.
 

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Whilst I'm at it, in this land of red elixir..... make that ex-red elixir. What the hell is happening to the wine? . The quality has been going down and down, thinner and thinner, more and more acidic. Supermarket pressure no doubt quite apart from the climate affecting the crop. However, it has now reached the stage that we use boxed wine for cooking. The only one that is passable and identifiable as wine rather than vinegar, is artificially smoothed and flavoured with oak in some way.
Agreed. I was also singularly unimpressed with the food in the restaurants there too when I was last in France. It used to one of the top three cuisines in the world, and 25 years ago you could hardly go wrong when eating out. Two years ago it was barely possible to find anything other than US type fast food. I had bigged up the gastronomie to my wife beforehand and then looked like a right Charlie when I tried to find some of it to impress her. At one place she had a steak which was so tough that she almost choked on a chunk, followed by a dessert course which purported to be home-made but was straight out of a Lidl packet. Quel dommage.
 

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The supermarkets here are now pretty much the same as in the UK so a general leveling off of standards has taken place.
Dunno about that Gordon. I love French supermarkets. You don't see fresh hams hanging in the Brit ones, nor the range of superb fish and other seafoods. Our local Tesco doesn't even sell fresh fish of any kind. Guess where it is - St. Ives, Cornwall - a fishing port for its whole life.
 

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. Are there many fishing ports left these days?
There are down west in Cornwall, but there are few fresh fish shops except in the towns where there is a wholesale fish market that buys in the fish from the boats. You can buy it straight from the boats though if you don't mind hanging around the quays at unearthly hours. Don't sub-contract this job to your wife.
 

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My biggest problem is when people try to be nice and surrender the right of way when I don't have it and that causes confusion.

The Rules for the Avoidance of Collisions at Sea state that a vessel with the right of way must continue on its course until the point where a collision would be unavoidable. This would be a sensible rule for the road too and would stop all this after you nonsense which wrong foots everyone around.
 

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Because so many people are gormless and it gives them time to think. I am sure that a large proportion of drivers are utterly incapable of judging speed and distance, hence they won't merge at roundabouts and won't overtake.

I occasionally drive a 1928 Model A Ford (i.e. slow) and am utterly exasperated by the large number of folk in modern cars who won't overtake, despite an open straight road ahead with no oncoming traffic. They are too timid or incompetent to overtake unless they are on a dual carriageway, and finish up unnecessarily causing a big queue. Any road locomotive drivers on the Forum?
 

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I like that!

By a curious coincidence, my wife just came back from a drive in the car complaining about a driver in front of her who would not overtake a tractor and trailer despite the opportunity, but sat on its tail thus making the train longer and more difficult to get by. As she has a zero tolerance policy towards everything this did not halt her progress for too long, but it did knock her mood back a few points. She has now gone out again to collect one of our dogs from an op. at the vets, so I expect the mood to be considerably blacker after the bill has been paid.

I hope there are no ditherers on her bit of road on the way back.
 

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Today I am grumpy because a three year old central heating radiator has sprung a pinhole leak. The previous one was about 40 years old and caused an insurance-worthy mess when it let go. Three years only before failing? It must be made of re-cycled Lancia Betas.

The hole was perfectly circular and looked like a drill hole so I suspected sabotage at the factory. It measured between 1.5 and 2 mm diameter, so I decided to tap it and screw in a temporary plug. After tapping and re-tapping ever increasing thread sizes without success I gave up at M4 as the metal thickness remained at only about 0.5 mm so it was too thin to take a thread of that coarseness. It appears that the thing was designed to be carp.

I predict an extreme cold spell will now arrive.
 

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Thanks Riko. I can repair it ok, but as the repair will be very visible SWMBO will not countenance it. A 75 mm square patch of paint bulged out under the water pressure and has flaked off too, so although it can be repaired satisfactorily in engineering terms, aesthetically its a non starter. I get the thin metal reasoning for automotive radiators where rapid heat exchange is required, but this is a domestic unit, so operates in very steady and sedate conditions. Low thermal inertia is not high on my list of priorities, compared with keeping the water in!

I am now required to investigate a cast-iron replacement which I have been informed is the bees knees as far as domestic radiators are concerned. This conjours up visions of 1930's school rooms, but my research so far shows that there has been some improvement in appearance in the last 85 years.
 

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TFSI

Turbocharged FSI

FSI is fuel stratisfied injection, so it means the fuel injectors are spreading the fuel around rather than just squirting in a lump...
So that's probably the same as most modern engines. I am always amused by the suffix "i" in car designations, meaning "injection". Are there any i.c. engined cars made these days that don't have fuel injection? Talk about a statement of the bl**d*ng obvious. Why not a "w" suffix to indicate that it has wheels?
 

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This is a high stress point when you spin the car off backwards into the scenery. When mine failed I replaced it with the terminal end of a three pin plug sawn from its pin. This is a chunky piece of brass with a suitable hole in it, and is approx. the depth of the chassis so solders on for good and can't flex. It is now resistant to my driving technique (work your way down until you reach maximum cornering speed).
 

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Epicentre! Again and again every time the news is on. This blasted virus brings out the worst in journalists.

"epicentre - that point on the earth's surface directly above the centre of an earthquake", from the Greek epi - upon. i will allow "below" in the case of an explosive airburst as this mis-use has become fully accepted now.

The next use of aggravated English is starting too, the "world pandemic". Pan means everywhere, i.e. worldwide, so there is no need for an adjective to make it more dramatic/serious/alarming/panicky/ego-boosting or newsworthy. At least there won't be a "mass exodus" this time. . . .
 

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Ah, a professional linguist in our gang! You will love the use of "pluperfect" to mean "more perfect than perfect" then. I think Murray Walker was one of the first with that one.

And "careening" is not the same as "careering". It is beaching a ship and laying it over to clean the bottom of the hull. But who cares?
 
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