English Education: The Essence Of Learning

November 30, 2008

English is one of those languages which is used very widely all over the world today. All the parents want to give their child English Education right from the beginning. There is a very good resource at eigomura.net on English education. Its really a fantastic language that almost everyone enjoys to speak and write on. Even though the language originated in England it traveled all over the world in a very short period of time.

You can always check out eigomura.net as they have a lot to offer to any one who is looking to gain some exposure in English education. It has some very good stuff on English language which anyone will like. There are various interesting literature in English language which also taught us a lot about the language. We should always go through some of them.

Eigomura.net will indeed expand the horizons of anyone and you get to know a lot from this place. English education is really important for anyone who wants to excel in this language.It is really a very interesting language to learn. So just check out eigomura.net and what they all have to offer to you.

Witnessing the ancient yabusame ceremony in Tsuwano, Japan

November 25, 2008

Witnessing the ancient yabusame ceremony in Tsuwano, Japan

The yabusame course at Washibara Hachiman-gu shrine.

Tsuwano, in Japan’s Shimane Prefecture in western Honshu, is a small mountain town with the faint remains of a ruined castle, two Shinto shrines, a street of restored samurai houses, and a chapel memorializing Catholics martyred there in the last period of the persecution of Christians in Japan. It is a pretty, quiet little town, often visited by day-tripping Japanese tour groups from nearby Yamaguchi, the capital of the adjacent Yamaguchi prefecture.

It is also visited by travelers from Hagi on the north coast, although Hagi has plenty of sights of its own, and from Iwakuni on the south coast, which has a restored samurai quarter, a reconstructed castle and the famous Brocade Sash Bridge (Kintai-kyo). For all of these tourists, Tsuwano has enough attractions for a day trip.

We spent three days in Tsuwano in April ’08, but we didn’t go for the sights. We went for the yabusame, a ceremony of horseback archery practiced on the only remaining original yabusame course in Japan.

Making arrangements

Access to Tsuwano was easy. Using our 21-day Japan Rail Passes (¥57,700, or about $534, for an ordinary pass) purchased from JALPAK International in New York (888/352-5725), we traveled from Iwakuni via Yamaguchi.

Feudal retainers parade with banners before the running of the course.

We were able to choose our route and our schedule easily by accessing the Japan Rail website and going through their Quick Search option to Hyperdia, a self-explanatory search engine. Just enter a town of departure, a town of arrival and an approximate hour of travel and it provides travel times, train changes, prices and all relevant options.

Finding accommodations in Tsuwano is easy, too. There is one hotel in the center of town and others on the outskirts, plus a surprising number of Japanese inns (ryokans and minshukus). Apparently, Tsuwano is not just a day-tripper’s town; it’s a destination for summer weekends in the hills.

Several of the ryokans are quite fancy, their prices reflecting their quality. Many are in the center of town, within a 10-minute walk of the train station.

We chose an inexpensive inn, the Hoshi Ryokan, partly on the basis of price but mostly because it was the lodging nearest to the train station, no more than a 3-minute walk away. As with a great many Japanese ryokans, we had to make arrangements by fax (011 81 08567 2 0241); for some reason, the Internet and e-mail have not yet taken hold in the Japanese hotel industry.

We signed up for a double room and were surprised to be given two large rooms separated by a sliding shoji screen, allowing our futons to be left set up all day. The price per person per night with breakfast was ¥5,800, or about $58. Dinner could be included in the room price for a total of ¥7,000 ($64).

Finding the website for the Hoshi Ryokan (listed as Tsuwano Star Hotel) was a bit tricky, as it is with many small Japanese hotels whose websites exist only in Japanese. Rather than directly visiting the site, enter the URL into the Google search bar. This will bring up the entry in Japanese. Click “Translate this page” to get a passable English translation.

Note that the prices are somewhat outdated; be sure to verify the price when you make a reservation by fax. The phone number is incorrect on the website; the correct number is 011 81 08567 2 0136.

The inn experience

Photographers claim space horizontally and vertically along the course well before the running of the yabusame.

Many ryokans are run by a mother-and-daughter (or -daughter-in-law) team, as was the case at the Hoshi Ryokan. The mother spoke no English, but the daughter, who also claimed not to know English, in fact turned out to be perfectly conversant. With patience and an occasional rephrasing of our questions, we were able to communicate with her easily. In any case, she spoke a whole heck of a lot more English than we speak Japanese, to our undying shame.

We wanted to sample the restaurants of Tsuwano that we’d found on the Internet, so we opted to have only breakfast at the inn. This proved to be a mistake on several counts. We couldn’t find many of the restaurants on our list, and others had gone out of business. Those we did find were adequate but not special, and communication was difficult.

On the other hand, when finally we chose to have dinner at the ryokan, we were presented with a remarkable spread of excellent food. It was clear why ryokans have the reputation for producing fine meals and why most travelers dine in.

Tsuwano sights

Riders assembled in front of the shrine for the closing speech.

Tsuwano is a pretty sophisticated little place; it just hasn’t caught up with the end of the 20th century yet, much less the 21st. This castle town has a long block of old samurai buildings, tarted up to a degree of cleanliness that makes it sufficiently antiseptic for the tour bus groups that come in waves to see the town.

The castle was destroyed after the Meiji restoration, but Tsuwano has a major Inari shrine, Taikodani-Inari-jinja, with rows and rows of torii (although much smaller than the ones at Fushimi Inari in Kyoto) climbing a steep hill. Somewhere up in the hills is a shrine to Christians martyred at a time when Christianity was illegal in Japan.

The canals of the town are supposed to have been filled with thousands upon thousands of koi, said to have been put there originally as a potential food source in anticipation of a siege. In truth, this proves to be tourist hype. There is a lot of mountain water rushing noisily through the town in deep concrete channels, but it’s far too fast for these decorative carp.

In a very few places, particularly around the slow samurai moats, there are quite a lot of gigantic carp in the most amazing colors, maybe the survivors of the siege that never came.

Understanding yabusame

The annual horseback archery ceremony, yabusame, is held several kilometers outside the center of town on the grounds of the Washibara Hachiman-gu shrine, which has what is said to be the last original yabusame course in Japan.

Young warrior adjusts his headdress before the opening parade.

A yabusame course is a pretty simple thing. There’s a straight path a couple of hundred yards long for the horses to run on. Along one side is a berm about eight feet high which serves as a backstop for the arrows.

Horsemen (and a few horsewomen) dressed in Kamakura-period costumes ride like blue blazes down the course yelling the most alarming war cries. They control their mounts only with their legs; their hands are busy nocking blunt-headed arrows and firing them at the targets.

Obviously, this business of shooting arrows from atop 1,200 pounds of speeding horse is not some trivial “Hey, guys, let’s put on a show!” whimsy. It is, in fact, part of a tradition dating to the sixth century.

The riders are not merely honing their skills as warriors, either. Their success at hitting targets (which are supposed to symbolize three ancient Korean countries, of all things) is taken as a marker of how good the harvest will be for the year and how well the world will run. Nor is it merely an exercise in horseback archery. In the manner of Eastern martial arts, as much attention is paid to mental discipline and religious transcendence as to riding and shooting.

The ceremony at Tsuwano is carried out by members of the Ogasawara School, one of the two principal schools codified by the 12th century. Order is kept by men and women standing about in Kamakura costume, with contemporary windbreakers thrown on against the chill.

The experience

Our first few exposures to the event were pretty much a sensory shock — all terrifying yells and thundering hooves, and then something really, really big would hurtle by involving, perhaps, a man in a bizarre getup — but it’s all over before you can draw a breath.

The youngest member of the Ogasawara School marches down the yabusame course as part of the opening procession of the ceremony.

As we got accustomed to it, though, we began to appreciate the Zen-like union of man and animal engaged in this warlike endeavor. (We also sympathized with the poor devil who couldn’t get the damned arrow to seat properly on the bowstring while a bazillion pounds of raw energy propelled him right past the target.)

I tried to imagine what it would be like to be up on one of those beasts, trying to bring off what is, at heart, a dry run for a bloodthirsty act: sticking an arrow into another guy’s gut before he sticks one into yours.

This being Japan, blood lust is combined with beauty. The entire course was lined with cherry trees whose blossoms had just achieved their final perfection, threatening to begin to shed.

Tsuwano’s yabusame is held on the second Sunday in April (never mind if your Lonely Planet says the second of every April), which means it will be held sometime from the eighth through the 14th — at the peak of the blossoms in this mountain town.

A horseman rockets down the course and amazingly hits a target, shivering the plank, and the crowd lets loose with a great “Hey!” Between horses, the breeze comes up and there’s a blizzard of delicate petals, the crowd exhaling a communal “Ooooh!”

Keep in mind, this really is a Shinto ceremony, though I suspect most of the spectators pay no attention to that. Before the riding, the horsemen and their retainers, an assortment of grooms, pages and soldiers all in full Edo kit, parade to the shrine. The horsemen and important officials enter the shrine for a service, while the lesser ranks stand at attention (for a very long time) outside. Then the horsemen and officials emerge and everyone parades to the end of the yabusame course, where the mounts await.

The course is blessed by a Shinto priest before the horsemen mount and parade solemnly down the length of the course to the start. And then all hell breaks loose.

Part of the crowd

There were so many spectators at the event that it was sometimes unpleasant, especially when we couldn’t take photographs easily because so many other photographers kept getting in the way. There were rope lines defining the running path and another line meant to hold the crowds well back to avoid spooking the horses.

The traditional tatami living room of our suite at the Hoshi Ryokan.

This being a nation of photographers — not to mention all the gaijin (foreigners) hoping to capture the event on film — everyone was trying to find the best angle, pressing against the rope and getting in each other’s way.

Luckily, a shopkeeper in town had alerted Jane and me to the possibility of going to the dress rehearsal the day before, where we were able to have most of the excitement and none of the crowds.

We were surprised by the number of young Americans in attendance. Apparently, a whole lot of young Americans have discovered they can get jobs in Japan teaching conversational English. Aficionados of all things Japanese, they turn up at events like this.

Though things were sometimes unpleasant at the morning running of the yabusame, they were a little better at the afternoon event. To begin with, the weather had grayed up a bit and there were spits of rain, discouraging spectators. New people arrived, of course, and quite a number of us oldsters stuck around, buying lunch from the booths set up just outside the grounds.

Most of the photographers were less frantic, and we settled pretty comfortably at the ropes.

After the event, the town tourism bureau laid on a dance festival on the stage off to the side of the shrine, and we were able to watch a considerable hunk of kagura, a theatrical Shinto dance.

It was a worthwhile stay.

Tube cleaners’ strike called off

August 22, 2008

Tube cleaners’ strike called off

tube platform

Union leaders hailed the deal as a “massive breakthrough”

Hundreds of Tube cleaners due to strike on Thursday in a row over pay and conditions have suspended their action following an improved deal.

More than 700 Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union members working for four subcontractors were to start a 48-hour industrial walk out.

But managers promised to pay workers the London Living Wage of £7.45 an hour, up from £5.50 an hour.

Union leaders described the last minute deal as a “massive breakthrough”.

Workers on Metronet contracts will receive the London Living Wage from the beginning of September.

Employees working for Tubelines will get an initial 60p an hour increase from 1 September, and a further £1.30 hourly increase from 1 April 2009.

RMT leader Bob Crow said: “That is a massive improvement on the prospect presented by the mayor of having to wait for contracts to be re-negotiated, which would have left some of our members waiting until 2012.”

Airport strike action called off

August 22, 2008

Airport strike action called off

Check-in desk

Baggage handlers at three airports have called off two 24-hour strikes

Baggage handlers and check-in staff at Stansted, Gatwick and Manchester airports have called off a series of 24-hour strikes.

Walkouts at Gatwick and Stansted on bank holiday Monday and 29 August were halted after talks between the GMB and Unite unions and employers Swissport.

Strikes at Manchester on 27 August and 1 September have also been called off.

A separate GMB strike involving more than 30 security scanners at Stansted is still due to take place on Monday.

The staff, who work for Airfield Services screening baggage for Ryanair and Easyjet, have rejected a 1.5% pay offer.

‘Better offer’

Union members were unhappy with a 3% pay offer from Swissport which they branded “paltry”, as well as new sick pay arrangements.

Gary Pearce, of the GMB, said “we have a new improved offer to put to our members” as a result of talks at conciliation service Acas.

He said: “Because of the improved offer all planned industrial action is suspended until we get the reaction of the members.

“This does not affect the industrial action for the scanner workers who are employed by Airport Services.”

The strikes would have affected services at airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Monarch, Thomson Fly and First Choice during one of the busiest periods of the year.

A spokesman for Unite said: “We have suspended the industrial action. After 12 hours of talks at Acas we now have a revised offer in which improvements have been made and we will now ballot our members.”

Swissport had said it felt its initial pay offer was “fair… in the light of the current economic climate”.

Mersey project costs rise by £40m

August 17, 2008

Mersey project costs rise by £40m

A computer-created impression of the new Mersey Gateway bridge

The council says the price increase is down to changes in design

The cost of the Mersey Gateway Project, that will see a second road bridge built across the River Mersey, has gone up by £40m.

The increase was revealed by Halton Council as the scheme was given unanimous approval by councillors.

The new crossing will link Runcorn and Widnes, Cheshire, to ease congestion on the existing Runcorn Bridge.

The council says the increase, which takes the total cost to £431m, is due to the scale of the project.

The council said that a funding agreement in place with the government is sufficient to cover the increase.

Steve Nicholson, Mersey Gateway project director, said that the project “remains good value”.

“The economic benefits it will bring to Halton and the surrounding area are almost four times greater than the cost of the project,” he said.

Due to the size of the project it is almost inevitable that there will be a public inquiry. If all goes to plan construction could start in 2011.

Warning over V Festival traffic

August 17, 2008

Warning over V Festival traffic

V Festival

Motorists heading to the event have been asked to patient

Tens of thousands of people heading to the V Festival in Staffordshire have been warned to expect traffic congestion.

Up to 15,000 spent the night at Weston Park near Stafford after the gates opened a day earlier in a bid to avoid traffic chaos seen last year.

Supt David Holdway, of Staffordshire Police, said road conditions were still expected to be “difficult”.

Amy Winehouse and Lenny Kravitz are among acts at the two-day event.

‘Very, very difficult’

Last year traffic problems forced the closure of the M54 for a time and people queued for hours to get into the site.

Supt Holdway said: “It’s very, very difficult with the roads that are here and the number of people trying to get here.

“The day early opening has taken a lot of those vehicles away – they are already here and they have already had a good night and avoid sitting in any queues.

“So hopefully next year more people will take us up on that.”

He advised drivers to be patient and considerate of local people.

The festival begins on Saturday while the annual V Festival is also taking place at Hylands Park in Chelmsford.

Careless drivers set to face jail

August 17, 2008

Careless drivers set to face jail

Drivers are being warned against distractions such as receiving text messages, eating, and fiddling with satellite navigation systems, ahead of new tougher laws.

A new offense of causing death by careless driving comes into force across the UK next week.

If you are driving a car you are responsible for your safety and the safety of others

Doug, UK

It means motorists who kill while avoidably distracted could for the first time face prison.

Historically, careless driving has only been punishable with a fine, whatever the consequences.

Careless distractions?

The new offense means UK motorists, who kill after allowing themselves to lose concentration, can be imprisoned for up to five years.

So what sort of distractions might count against a driver who causes a fatal crash?

The Ministry of Justice gives these examples: reading a text message, glancing at a map, eating, drinking, tuning a radio, putting on make up.

The Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire has a wealth of experience in analyzing driver behavior.

I was invited by government officials to visit the laboratory for a test to see how various distractions would affect my driving.

To summarise the results: my driving got worse. But was it dangerous?

Jason Ness

Jason Ness was killed by a careless driver who was fined £575

According to Dr Nick Reed, who analysed my test, it depends when the distraction occurs:

“If it happens at the wrong time, it could cause a serious accident and the fact that you were distracted at the time could mean the difference between serious injury and a fatal accident. ”

Last year the number of people killed fell below 3,000 for the first time since records began in 1926. But, still, eight people die on the roads each day.

Alongside careless drivers, the new laws will also penalise uninsured, disqualified and unlicensed motorists who kill.

According to Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, it is hoped the number of deaths will be reduced even further.

“The government is committed to continually improving safety on Britain’s roads,” he said.

“Under the Road Safety Act we have already brought in tougher penalties for drivers who use hand-held mobile phones at the wheel and the introduction of these new offences today is the latest step to tackle bad driving and further improve safety on our roads.”

To the distress of many families of victims, fatal crashes caused by careless driving have tended to lead to penalties no more severe than a fine.

Only offences where the higher threshold of dangerous driving can be applied have carried a potential prison sentence.

From next week careless driving in the UK could lead to prison too.

Five killed as two planes collide

August 17, 2008

Five killed as two planes collide

Police car and fire engine near the scene

Police and the fire service are involved in the investigation into the crash

Five people have been killed in a mid-air collision between two light aircraft in Warwickshire.

The pilot of one plane, described as like a microlight, crashed into a field close to Coombe Abbey, Brinklow, near Coventry Airport at around 1130 BST.

A Cessna, carrying four people, came down a mile away in Brandon Woods.

Police believe the planes were returning to Coventry airport when the incident happened and the bodies of the victims are still being recovered.

Det Supt Adrian McGee said: “How they collided and how they came to the collision we still do not know.”

The first aircraft landed in a field near Coventry Road, between Brinklow and Coventry.

The Cessna aircraft was owned by Reconnaissance Ventures Ltd (RVL), which is based at Coventry Airport and carried out survey work for government agencies and private firms.

Cessna 402

One of the planes that crashed was a Cessna 402

Colin Dennis, RVL’s managing director, said the aircraft had been taking an “entirely routine flight” and was on a “perfectly normal” approach to Coventry Airport at the time of the crash.

“It was approximately two miles from the runway,” he said.

“We believe it had been cleared to land by Coventry Airport air traffic control when it was in collision with a smaller, single-engine light aircraft.”

Debris from the collision stretched across several miles. No-one on the ground was reported to have been injured.

Commander Mick Leach, of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “At the moment our thoughts are really on getting the task done.

“Clearly there are a lot of people who are going to get some very distressing news. Our priority is that we can retrieve the bodies as quickly as possible and that those relatives can be notified and can have time and privacy to mourn their loss.”

Murray MacGregor, spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said crews had found “a scene of devastation” and air accident investigators had launched an inquiry.

“Thankfully nobody was nearby when the debris came down,” he said.”

Eyewitness Malcolm Collins, from Daventry, Northamptonshire, was at Coombe Abbey children’s playground with his family when the collision occurred.

“We noticed the twin-engined aircraft coming over the top of us. It was about 300 metres away from us, flying away from us as we watched it, and it struck another aircraft that had been coming across. As it hit it, the smaller aircraft just completely disintegrated.”

Paul Harwood, head of human resources at Coventry Airport, told BBC News he knew those who died in the crash.

“They are known to us all. They’ve been around for some time, most of us have been around for some time,” he said.

“It is a small community, and our sympathies don’t just go out to our families, it’s all those who are affected by today.”

Det Supt McGee said 30 officers were working at the scene.

“There are two scenes and they are difficult to get to. We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash to get in touch.”

Coventry Airport was closed for a short time after the crash, but has since reopened.


Are you in the area? If you have any information you wish to share with us

Central London

August 17, 2008
Latest Road Incidents : Total 58, Cleared 0 Last updated: 17th August 2008 at 21:35
0 very severe incidents 6 severe incidents 37 medium-severity incidents 15 slight-severerity incidents 0 very slight-severity incidents 0 cleared up incidents 0 incidents of an unknown severity
Location Incident Report
high A101 [Rotherhithe Tunnel] Rotherhithe / Limehouse
both ways between A13, Commercial Road, Rotherhithe / Limehouse and A200, Lower Road, London
closed affecting unknown
A101 London – Tunnel closed both ways between the A13 Commercial Road junction and the A200 Lower Road junction in Rotherhithe / Limehouse, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 16th August 2008 at 09:08, started: 16th August 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

high A40 [St Giles High Street] St Giles Circus
westbound between Denmark Street and A400, Charing Cross Road, London
underground services work roadworks closed affecting all driving lanes
A40 London – St Giles High Street closed westbound between the Denmark Street junction and the A400 Charing Cross Road junction in St Giles Circus, because of water main work.

Last updated: 15th August 2008 at 05:25, started: 22nd July 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

high A40 [Oxford Street] London
westbound between A400, Tottenham Court Road, London and A4201, Regent Street, London
closed
A40 London – Oxford Street closed westbound between the St Giles Circus junction and the Oxford Circus junction, because of roadworks. Diversion in operation.

Last updated: 15th August 2008 at 05:26, started: 31st July 2008, ending: 22nd August 2008

high A315 [Kensington Road / Kensington Gore] Kensington
westbound between A4, Brompton Road, Kensington and Exhibition Road
resurfacing roadworks closed
A4 London – Brompton Road closed westbound between the A315 Knightsbridge junction and the Exhibition Road junction in Kensington, because of resurfacing work. Diversion in operation.

Last updated: 15th August 2008 at 05:27, started: 1st August 2008, ending: 3rd September 2008

high A219 [Wood Lane] Shepherds Bush
northbound between A4020, Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush and South Africa Road
closed
A219 London – Shepherd’s Bush Green closed northbound between the A4020 Uxbridge Road junction and the South Africa Road junction in Shepherds Bush, because of roadworks. Diversion in operation.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:40, started: 27th September 2007, ending: 15th October 2008

high A4200 [Eversholt Street] Euston
southbound between A400, Oakley Square, Euston and A501, Euston Road, Euston
closed
A4200 London – Eversholt Street closed southbound between the A400 Oakley Square junction and the A501 Euston Road junction in Euston, because of roadworks. Diversion in operation.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:23, started: 14th July 2008, ending: 5th October 2008

normal A3205 [York Road] Battersea
both ways at B305, Lombard Road, Battersea
A3205 London – Burst water main on York Road both ways at the B305 Lombard Road junction in Battersea.

Last updated: 17th August 2008 at 20:41

normal A3211 [Lower Thames Street / Upper Thames Street] City Of London
westbound between Great Tower Street and A3, Fish Street Hill, City Of London
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting all driving lanes
A3211 City Of London – One lane closed on Lower Thames Street westbound between the Great Tower Street junction and the A3 Fish Street Hill junction, because of water main work.

Last updated: 17th August 2008 at 21:33

normal A219 [Fulham Palace Road] Fulham
both ways at Greyhound Road

A219 London – Temporary traffic lights on Fulham Palace Road both ways at the Greyhound Road junction in Fulham, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 17th August 2008 at 20:48

normal A215 [Half Moon Lane] Herne Hill
both ways at A2214, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill
A215 London – Traffic light failure on Half Moon Lane both ways at the Herne Hill junction in Herne Hill.

Last updated: 17th August 2008 at 21:32

normal B203 [Dunton Road] Bermondsey
both ways at Mandela Way
B203 London – Traffic light failure on Dunton Road at the Mandela Way junction in Bermondsey.

Last updated: 17th August 2008 at 21:11

normal A3211 [Lower Thames Street] City Of London
both ways between Great Tower Street and A300, Queen Street Place, City Of London
restriction affecting unknown
A3211 City Of London – Electricity work on Lower Thames Street both ways between the Great Tower Street junction and the A300 Queen Street Place junction.

Last updated: 8th August 2008 at 05:31, started: 15th July 2008, ending: 26th September 2008

normal A10 [Bishopsgate] City Of London
both ways at Primrose Street
restriction affecting all driving lanes
A10 City Of London – Restrictions on Shoreditch High Street both ways at the Primrose Street junction, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:36, started: 21st July 2008, ending: 4th November 2008

normal A308 [New King’s Road] Fulham
both ways at Parsons Green
restriction affecting unknown
A308 London – Roadworks on New King’s Road both ways at the Parsons Green junction in Fulham.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:28, started: 21st July 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

normal A401 [Shaftesbury Avenue] Soho
both ways between A400, Charing Cross Road, Soho and A40, High Holborn, London
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting all driving lanes
A401 London – Water main work on Shaftesbury Avenue both ways between the Cambridge Circus junction and the A40 High Holborn junction in Soho.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:27, started: 8th July 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

normal A4 [Cromwell Road] Earls Court
eastbound at Marloes Road
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting unknown
A4 London – One lane closed on West Cromwell Road eastbound at the Marloes Road junction in Earls Court, because of gas main work.

Last updated: 15th August 2008 at 05:22, started: 10th July 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

normal A1211 [Houndsditch] City Of London
both ways at A11, St Botolph Street, City Of London
restriction affecting all driving lanes
A1211 City Of London – Restrictions on Houndsditch both ways at the A11 St Botolph Street junction, because of major roadworks.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:51, started: 28th June 2007, ending: 1st July 2011

normal A301 [Waterloo Road] Waterloo
both ways at Alaska Street
overhead services work roadworks restriction affecting unknown
A301 London – Bridge maintenance work on Waterloo Road both ways at the Alaska Street junction in Waterloo.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:49, started: 20th March 2008, ending: 26th November 2008

normal A11 [Whitechapel High Street] London
both ways at A1202, Commercial Street, London
restriction affecting unknown
A11 London – Two lanes closed on Whitechapel High Street at the A1202 Commercial Street junction, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 05:21, started: 12th May 2008, ending: 2nd December 2008

normal A301 [Waterloo Road] Waterloo
both ways at A3202, St George’s Circus, Waterloo
restriction
A301 London – Intermittent lane closures on Waterloo Road both ways at the A3202 St George’s Circus junction in Waterloo, crane operation.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 12:05, started: 15th May 2008, ending: 29th August 2008

normal A23 [Westminster Bridge Road] Waterloo
both ways at A3036, Lambeth Palace Road, Waterloo
restriction affecting unknown
A23 London – Roadworks at the A3036 Lambeth Palace Road junction in Waterloo.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:27, started: 7th July 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

normal A3220 [Northern Roundabout] White City
both ways at A40, Westway, White City
restriction affecting unknown
A3220 London – One lane closed on West Cross Route at the Northern Roundabout junction in White City, because of emergency repairs.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 12:05, started: 3rd June 2008, ending: 31st August 2008

normal A3220 [Earls Court Road] Earl’s Court
southbound at A3218, Old Brompton Road, Earl’s Court
restriction affecting all driving lanes
A3218 London – Temporary traffic lights on Old Brompton Road southbound at the A3220 Redcliffe Gardens junction in Earl’s Court.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:24, started: 4th June 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

normal A40 [High Holborn] Holborn
eastbound between A5200, Gray’s Inn Road, Holborn and A4208, St Andrew Street, City Of London
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting unknown
A40 London – One lane closed on High Holborn eastbound between the A5200 Gray’s Inn Road junction and the Holborn Circus junction in Holborn, because of gas main work.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:44, started: 23rd June 2008, ending: 25th August 2008

normal A10 [Bishopsgate] City Of London
southbound between Artillery Lane and A1211, Houndsditch, City Of London
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting all driving lanes
A10 City Of London – Water main work on Bishopsgate southbound between the Artillery Lane junction and the A1211 Houndsditch junction.

Last updated: 5th August 2008 at 11:43, started: 25th June 2008, ending: 28th November 2008

normal A205 [Atkins Road] Near Streatham Hill
westbound between New Park Road and B221, Kings Avenue, London
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting all driving lanes
A205 London – One lane closed on Atkins Road westbound between the New Park Road junction and the B221 Kings Avenue junction in Near Streatham Hill, because of water main work.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:31, started: 30th June 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

normal A3220 [West Cross Route] Shepherds Bush
both ways at A402, Shepherd’s Bush Green, Shepherds Bush
restriction affecting all driving lanes
A3220 London – Restrictions on Holland Road both ways at the Southern Roundabout junction in Shepherds Bush, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 12:05, started: 1st July 2008, ending: 28th September 2008

normal A3212 [Whitehall] Westminster
both ways between A4, Charing Cross, Westminster and A302, Bridge Street, London
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting all driving lanes
London – Water main work on The Mall both ways between the A3212 Charing Cross junction and the Parliament Square junction in Westminster.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:31, started: 5th July 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

normal [Holywell Lane] Shoreditch
both ways between A10, Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch and A1202, Great Eastern Street, London
closed
London – Holywell Lane closed both ways between the A10 Shoreditch High Street junction and the A1202 Great Eastern Street junction in Shoreditch, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:51, started: 31st January 2008, ending: 31st August 2008

normal [Primrose Street] City Of London
both ways at Appold Street
closed
City Of London – Primrose Street closed both ways at the Appold Street junction, because of roadworks. Diversion in operation.

Last updated: 7th July 2008 at 11:14, started: 3rd March 2008, ending: 29th September 2008

normal A40 [Bayswater Road] Marble Arch
both ways at A5, Edgware Road, Marble Arch
restriction affecting unknown
A40 London – Roadworks on Bayswater Road at the Marble Arch junction in Marble Arch.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:40, started: 15th October 2007, ending: 27th September 2009

normal A4 [Knightsbridge] Knightsbridge
both ways at A3216, Sloane Street, Knightsbridge
restriction affecting all driving lanes
A4 London – Restrictions on Knightsbridge both ways at the Scotch Corner junction in Knightsbridge, because of major roadworks.

Last updated: 15th August 2008 at 05:27, started: 20th November 2007, ending: 18th August 2008

normal A3202 [Westminster Bridge Road] Waterloo
eastbound between Dodson Street and A301, Waterloo Road, London
restriction affecting unknown
A3202 London – Roadworks on Westminster Bridge Road eastbound between the Dodson Street junction and the A301 Waterloo Road junction in Waterloo.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:47, started: 29th November 2007, ending: 30th November 2009

normal [Constitution Hill] London
both ways at A4, Duke Of Wellington Place, London
closed
London – Constitution Hill closed both ways at the A4 Duke Of Wellington Place junction, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 16th August 2008 at 08:03, started: 14th August 2008, ending: 24th August 2008

normal [Romilly Street] Soho
both ways between Dean Street and Moor Street
closed
London – Romilly Street closed both ways between the Dean Street junction and the Moor Street junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:33, started: 14th August 2008

normal [Primrose Street] City Of London
both ways between Appold Street and A10, Shoreditch High Street, City Of London
closed
City Of London – Primrose Street closed both ways between the Appold Street junction and the A10 Shoreditch High Street junction, because of roadworks. Diversion in operation.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 12:00, started: 7th August 2008, ending: 28th September 2008

normal A202 [Vauxhall Bridge Road] Victoria
southbound at A302, Victoria Street, Victoria
restriction affecting unknown
A202 London – Roadworks on Vauxhall Bridge Road southbound at the A302 Victoria Street junction in Victoria.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 09:17, started: 11th August 2008, ending: 3rd November 2008

normal A203 [South Lambeth Road] Vauxhall
both ways between Lawn Lane and B301, Fentiman Road, London

A203 London – Roadworks on South Lambeth Road both ways between the Lawn Lane junction and the B301 Fentiman Road junction in Vauxhall, because of electricity work.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:41, started: 24th July 2008, ending: 29th August 2008

normal A3211 [Upper Thames Street] City Of London
westbound between Cousin Lane and A300, Queen Street Place, City Of London
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting all driving lanes
A3211 City Of London – Water main work on Upper Thames Street westbound between the Cousin Lane junction and the A300 Queen Street Place junction.

Last updated: 15th August 2008 at 05:26, started: 25th July 2008, ending: 8th October 2008

normal A205 [Streatham Place] Streatham
both ways between Tierney Road and New Park Road
underground services work roadworks restriction affecting all driving lanes
A205 London – Restrictions on Streatham Place both ways between the Tierney Road junction and the New Park Road junction in Streatham, because of water main work.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:18, started: 28th July 2008, ending: 31st August 2008

normal A2 [Old Kent Road] Bermondsey
both ways between East Street and B214, Albany Road, London
restriction affecting unknown
A2 London – Roadworks on Old Kent Road both ways between the East Street junction and the B214 Albany Road junction in Bermondsey.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:39, started: 30th July 2008, ending: 21st December 2008

normal A219 [Fulham Palace Road] Fulham
both ways at Greyhound Road

A219 London – Temporary traffic lights on Fulham Palace Road both ways at the Greyhound Road junction in Fulham, because of electricity work.

Last updated: 16th August 2008 at 08:00, started: 14th August 2008, ending: 21st August 2008

normal A3211 [Queen Victoria Street] Blackfriars
southbound between A201, New Bridge Street, Blackfriars and A201, City Of London
restriction affecting unknown
A3211 City Of London – Two lanes closed on Queen Victoria Street southbound between the A201 New Bridge Street junction and the A201 junction in Blackfriars, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:48, started: 14th August 2008

low A1203 [The Highway] Shadwell / Wapping
westbound between A126, Butcher Row, Shadwell / Wapping and A100, Tower Bridge Approach, London
A1203 London – Queueing traffic on The Highway westbound between the A126 Butcher Row junction and the A100 Tower Bridge Approach junction in Shadwell / Wapping.

Last updated: 17th August 2008 at 21:29

low A3 [West Hill] Wandsworth
both ways at A205, Upper Richmond Road, Wandsworth
restriction affecting all driving lanes
A3 London – Restrictions on West Hill both ways at the A3 Upper Richmond Road junction in Wandsworth, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 05:22, started: 13th August 2008, ending: 24th October 2008

low [Moor Street] Soho
both ways between A400, Charing Cross Road, Soho and Old Compton Street
closed
London – Moor Street closed both ways between the A400 Charing Cross Road junction and the Old Compton Street junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:34, started: 14th August 2008

low [Old Compton Street] Soho
both ways between A400, Charing Cross Road, Soho and Wardour Street
closed
London – Old Compton Street closed both ways between the A400 Charing Cross Road junction and the Wardour Street junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:35, started: 14th August 2008

low [Wardour Street] Soho
both ways between A401, Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho and Brewer Street
closed
London – Wardour Street closed both ways between the A401 Shaftesbury Avenue junction and the Brewer Street junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:36, started: 14th August 2008

low [Winnett Street] Soho
both ways between Brewer Street and Rupert Street
closed
London – Winnett Street closed both ways between the Wardour Street junction and the Rupert Street junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:37, started: 14th August 2008

low [Archer Street] Soho
both ways between Great Windmill Street and Rupert Street
closed
London – Archer Street closed between the Great Windmill Street junction and the Rupert Street junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:40, started: 14th August 2008

low [Dean Street] Soho
both ways between A40, Oxford Street, Soho and A401, Shaftesbury Avenue, London
closed
London – Dean Street closed between the A40 Oxford Street junction and the A401 Shaftesbury Avenue junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:42, started: 14th August 2008

low [Soho Street] Soho
both ways between A40, Oxford Street, Soho and Soho Square
closed
London – Soho Street closed between the A40 Oxford Street junction and the Soho Square junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:48, started: 14th August 2008

low [Sutton Row] Soho
both ways between Soho Square and A400, Charing Cross Road, London
closed
London – Sutton Row closed between the Soho Square junction and the A400 Charing Cross Road junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:45, started: 14th August 2008

low [Manette Street] Soho
both ways between A400, Charing Cross Road, Soho and Greek Street
closed
London – Manette Street closed between the A400 Charing Cross Road junction and the Greek Street junction in Soho, Soho Pride Street Festival.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 12:46, started: 14th August 2008

low A219 [Shepherd’s Bush Green] Shepherd’s Bush
southbound at A402, Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush
restriction affecting unknown
A219 London – Roadworks on Shepherd’s Bush Green southbound at the A402 Goldhawk Road junction in Shepherd’s Bush.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:50, started: 19th March 2008, ending: 2nd October 2008

low [Horse Guards Road] Westminster
both ways between A3214, Great George Street, Westminster and The Mall
restriction affecting all driving lanes
London – Restrictions on Horse Guards Road both ways between the A3214 Great George Street junction and the The Mall junction in Westminster, because of roadworks.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:45, started: 7th July 2008, ending: 26th September 2008

low A13 [Commercial Road] Aldgate
westbound between Back Church Lane and Gower’s Walk
underground services work roadworks closed affecting unknown
A13 London – Bus lane closed on Commercial Road westbound between the Back Church Lane junction and the Gower’s Walk junction in Aldgate, because of gas main work.

Last updated: 14th August 2008 at 11:28, started: 10th April 2008, ending: 18th August 2008

low A10 [Bishopsgate] City Of London
both ways between A1211, Camomile Street, City Of London and Cornhill
restriction affecting unknown
A10 City Of London – Roadworks on Bishopsgate both ways between the A1211 Camomile Street junction and the Cornhill junction.

Last updated: 11th August 2008 at 11:29, started: 9th May 2007, ending: 2nd April 2011

The age of the superjumbo dawns for Emirates

August 14, 2008

The age of the superjumbo dawns for Emirates

The age of the superjumbo dawns for Emirates Middle Eastern airline Emirates has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380 and so signalled the beginning of the superjumbo era.

The airline received the plane at a ceremony on 28 July at Airbus’ new A380 Delivery Centre named in honour of superjumbo creator, Jürgen Thomas.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates chairman and chief executive, attended the ceremony at the Hamburg-based facility alongside 2,000 Airbus staff.

Emirates was not the first operator to receive a superjumbo, but eight years ago it was the first to place an order for an A380.

As of November 2007, the Dubai-based carrier had ordered 58 of the huge aircraft to service long-haul routes all around the world.

Sheikh Ahmed said that “we have stood firm on our commitment to the A380. Our investment in the aircraft, including engines and in-flight features, exceeds €32 billion (£25.3 billion), with €12 billion spent in Germany alone”.

He also congratulated Airbus for creating a “greener, cleaner, quieter, smarter aircraft” which reportedly offers the same relative fuel economy as some hybrid cars.

Airbus has assured that the GP7200 engines in the A380s can achieve a 500,000 litre saving in fuel per aircraft compared to comparative planes.

Therefore each superjumbo can achieve 3.1 litres for every 100 passenger kilometres, as well as meeting US aviation noise regulations comfortably.

Inside the Emirates A380 there are 14 first-class seats, alongside 76 business-class and 399 economy seats.

There are also some incredible facilities including the first-class shower spa which features two fully equipped bathroom areas.

Business-class customers can enjoy the onboard lounge and economy passengers can also benefit from a more spacious cabin and mood lighting designed to combat jetlag.

The debut, fully booked Emirates A380 flight will depart tomorrow from Dubai destined for New York’s John F Kennedy Airport.


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