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The beast from the east

categories: /loose-thoughts
tags: none
Picture of garden covered in snow

The beast did this. Thanks!

While I was clearing snow off my car today, at the point I got to the radio antenna I was thinking about the need for simple radio receivers in the modern world. For a piece of electronic gadgetry that is well over 100 years old it is unbelievable that modern cars are still equipped with one. In the era of insane consumption, hunger for more processing power, built-in obsolescence and cheap materials, nothing seems to last longer than few years. Even if it does, I suppose it does not excites us for as long as it used to, because there is already a new, obviously better model being announced. Why would I buy an unexciting product, maybe because I need one, or maybe it was imposed on me somehow.

In the case of a car radio it is kind of imposed unless you are going to replace your radio with some funky gear that is doing anything but. Or you could get a massive blanking plate to cover the void. I have no problem with having a radio in the car though.

The immediate thoughts that followed was that it is a low energy (so can be battery powered), simple construction (so potentially repairable), reliable and solid, long-range reception contraption that provides means of one-way communication with the world. Could come in handy in case of a serious crisis.

Few hours later I started wondering how much more of this “beast from the east” is lurking round the corner. From the windows of my house it looks like it had a terrible effect on people. I’ve seen very few cars on the road and I am missing the noise and exhaust fumes. I’ve also seen a kid on a sledge being pulled by a parent, kid squeaking with joy. Schoolkids chucking snowballs. The occasional patches of dirt and litter covered by a uniform white blanket. Vegetation wrapped in snow. Very scenic. Absolutely hate it.

I went onto the most reputable source of weather information in UK - Met Office. Unfortunately, their site seems to have given up and was returning errors

MetOffice fails to serve forecast data

Or is it more related to the fact that the infrastructure is not scaling up to the demand in days of such adverse weather? When else, if not now, it should be providing up-to-date info so that people can avoid getting stranded? Well, just guesses here.

They do brag a bit about the impact they had in the past. You can read about it on their website https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who. There is even a mention of their role in D-Day landing during the Second World War. Blimey, what a timing. I’ve only watched Churchil a couple of days ago so I was not too surprised.

However, I feel that getting the forecast right is as important as using a platform fit for purpose.

Luckily, there are other ways we can get the weather information.

Good, old radio springs to my mind.

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